Dear VetBabble: How Concerned Should I Be About My Dog’s Rapidly Growing Bump?
A concerned pet owner recently asked whether they should be worried about a bump on their dog’s left side that has grown significantly in just two weeks. As a dedicated and friendly veterinarian, I am here to offer some insight into this issue and provide advice on how to approach such situations.
Assessing the Bump: Possibilities and Potentials
Firstly, yes, you should be concerned about a rapidly growing bump on your dog. Although many skin masses are benign, some can be malignant. A red, raised, hairless mass can indicate a skin cancer known as a Mast Cell tumor. There are other tumors that may appear this way but are benign. Unfortunately, you cannot determine the nature of the bump just by looking at it alone.
It’s essential to see a veterinarian within the next few days for a proper assessment. They will likely perform a procedure called aspiration, which involves taking a sample of cells from the mass to be examined under a microscope. This helps determine whether your dog has a Mast Cell tumor or something less concerning.
I strongly encourage you to read the articles Lumps and Bumps: When to Worry and Cancer in Dogs: Facts, Symptoms and What to Expect to further understand the potential risks and necessary precautions.
If It’s a Mast Cell Tumor: What’s Next?
If the test results reveal that your dog’s bump is, unfortunately, a Mast Cell tumor, you will need to discuss surgical options with your veterinarian. The mass must be removed, and depending on its location, size, and stage, other treatments may also be necessary. This could include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy. Your vet will discuss the best course of action in detail.
It’s crucial to act quickly, as some skin tumors can be aggressive and spread to other areas of the body. Although this can seem overwhelming, remember that early detection and action can increase your dog’s chances of recovery. Reading the article Bone Cancer in Dogs (Osteosarcoma) can provide further information on a specific type of canine cancer and its treatment.
Other Potential Causes for Bumps on Your Dog
It is essential to remember that not all bumps on your dog are cancerous. They can be caused by various issues, like infections, inflammations, or allergic reactions.
One such issue is mange, a skin condition caused by microscopic mites that burrow into the skin, causing hair loss, itching, and inflammation. If your dog has a bump that looks suspicious, consider reading the article Does My Dog Have Mange? to learn more about the symptoms and treatment options.
Ultimately, the best course of action is to consult with a veterinarian when you notice any unusual growths or changes in your dog’s skin. Early intervention can lead to more successful treatments, and ultimately a healthier, happier pet.