What to Do If You Discover a Mass or Lump on Your Pet
Lumps, bumps, or masses on or under the skin are common occurrences in pets. Generally, a pet owner will discover these abnormal growths while petting or grooming their furry friend. When discovered, many pet owners immediately worry that their pet’s health is in danger or they have something serious wrong with them, like cancer. If you discover a lump or bump on your pet, The Pets Place Animal Hospital wants to help you understand the potential causes and the available treatment options.
Investigate the Lump
There are several things to look for in determining what a lump or mass is. Things to consider include:
- Is it a new growth?
- Does it occur on the skin or underneath?
- What is its size and shape?
- Is it raised or flat to the surface?
- Is it bumpy or smooth?
- What is its color?
- Is it just isolated to one, or are there more lumps?
- Has anything changed with the size, texture, or firmness?
- Is it moveable?
- Does it bleed or is scabbed, or otherwise draining?
Make note of any new bumps or masses on your pet’s skin and their location on the body. If possible, photograph the bump by gently trimming or shaving around the area for a better view.
Play It Safe
As pets age, many of them develop small growths on the skin, most of which prove to be nothing worrisome. Referred to as sebaceous space, they are often harmless cysts and skin tags. Taking your pet for a veterinary exam is the safest way for you to determine the cause of the lump. The veterinarian will be able to tell you if it is a simple cyst or something that requires medical intervention.
During the Examination
Your veterinarian will examine the mass and talk to you about the information you gathered when inspecting the area. The doctor will also look for any additional masses.
From there, many veterinarians will perform a fine needle aspiration, which collects a few cells from the area with a very thin needle. After the cells are collected, the veterinarian might want to perform further diagnostics to clarify whether the mass is benign or malignant. Most of the time, these raised bumps are nothing more than a fatty lipoma, but doing further diagnosis helps to rule out cancer.
If You Discover a Lump on Your Pet, Call Us!
Even if the growth is malignant, we have several effective treatment options, including surgery, to remove the mass. With most benign masses, we make sure to check them each time you are in for your pet’s wellness examination to monitor any potential changes.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, our friendly team of experts is just a call away. Please contact us at (951) 684-2181!