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What Could a Small Bump on the Back of My Dog’s Neck Be?


Dear VetBabble,

I’ve noticed that my dog has a small bump/lump under her skin located on the back of her neck, just behind her head. What could this be? Are there any other symptoms or places we should look for similar issues? We want to make sure she’s properly examined and treated by our veterinarian.

Understanding Bumps and Lumps on Your Dog

Thanks for reaching out with your concerns about your furry friend – it’s always better to be cautious when it comes to our pets’ health! There are several possible explanations for the bump you’ve discovered on your dog’s neck. Some potential causes are minor, while others can be indicators of bigger health issues.

To help educate pet owners like yourself, we’ve created a resource to help better understand when to be alarmed over lumps and bumps on your dog. The best way to evaluate any lump on your dog is to have it examined by a veterinarian, who can accurately diagnose the issue and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

Possible Causes of Bumps and Lumps

Here are a few common reasons for dog lumps, each with varying levels of concern:

  1. Warts: Canine warts are generally harmless skin growths caused by a virus. They can sometimes resemble a small cauliflower and usually appear in young dogs or older dogs with decreased immune function. While typically not dangerous, warts can be uncomfortable or cause irritation for your dog, so it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian.
  2. Botfly larvae: More common in cats than dogs, botfly larvae are parasites that burrow under the skin and create noticeable lumps. Though unsettling, they usually cause minimal harm and can be removed by a veterinarian.
  3. Mange: If your dog is experiencing hair loss or skin irritations in addition to the lump, it’s worth considering mange as a possibility. To learn more about mange and whether your dog might be affected, check out our article on recognizing the signs of mange in dogs.
  4. Alopecia and allergies: Some dogs may develop bumps or lumps due to hair loss and allergies. You can learn more about possible causes of hair loss in dogs in our article on why your dog’s hair might be falling out and what to do about it.
  5. Cancer: Unfortunately, bumps and lumps can sometimes be a sign of cancer, especially in older dogs. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment, so it’s important to have any unexplained lumps checked out by a veterinarian. Learn more about cancer in dogs, its symptoms, and what to expect.

Taking Action for Your Dog’s Health

While this list covers some of the most common issues that can lead to lumps or bumps on a dog, it’s not exhaustive. The best course of action is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have the bump examined and properly diagnosed. Your vet might suggest additional testing, such as a fine needle aspirate or skin biopsy, to better understand the underlying issue and provide appropriate treatment.

Being proactive about your pet’s health is vital, so remember to perform regular skin checks, monitor for changes, and address any concerns with your veterinarian. Keep up the great work as a responsible and loving pet owner!

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