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What Could This Unusual Lump on My Dog’s Skin Be, and Should I Worry?


Dear VetBabble,

I have noticed an unusual lump on my dog’s skin, and I’m concerned about what it could be. I can’t take them to the vet at the moment due to isolation restrictions. What could this lump be, and is it something that I should worry about?

Understanding Lumps and Bumps on Your Dog’s Skin

First of all, thank you for reaching out and sharing your concerns with us. It’s essential for pet owners to be observant and monitor any changes in their pet’s health. You’re definitely not alone in your worries, and many pet owners face similar concerns about lumps and bumps on their pets. As a general rule, it’s always best to have any new lump or bump checked out by your veterinarian once quarantine is lifted.

Pets can indeed get many types of lumps and bumps on their skin, and identifying the cause can sometimes be tricky. Most of these skin masses will be benign, but some can be malignant, and it’s impossible to tell just by looking at them. In this helpful article, we discuss the various types of skin masses in general and give some guidance on when to be concerned.

Common Causes of Lumps and Bumps

There are many potential causes for lumps and bumps on your dog’s skin. Some common possibilities include:

  1. Infection or inflammation: In some cases, localized infections or inflammation can lead to the formation of lumps, such as an abscess or cyst.
  2. Parasites: Skin irritation and swelling caused by parasites like mites, fleas, or ticks could be a possible cause. If you suspect your dog might have mange, check out this article on how to identify the symptoms of mange in dogs.
  3. Cancer: In some cases, lumps and bumps on your dog’s skin may be a sign of cancer. While it’s essential not to panic and jump to conclusions, it is worth familiarizing yourself with some common types of cancer in dogs, such as skin cancer and bone cancer (osteosarcoma), and their symptoms.

Keep in mind that these are just a few examples and that the specific cause can vary depending on your dog’s breed, age, and overall health.

What to Do Next

As you’re currently in isolation, it’s essential to do what you can at home to monitor the lump and keep an eye on your dog’s overall health. Look for any changes in the lump’s size, color, or texture, as well as any signs of pain, itching, or discharge. Make sure to take note of these observations, so you can share them with your veterinarian once you’re able to schedule an appointment.

Once quarantine is lifted, I recommend having the lump checked out by your veterinarian to be on the safe side. They may recommend aspirating the mass to examine the cells under a microscope, which is one of the best ways to determine what it is and if any further action is needed. In the meantime, continue to give your dog plenty of love and care, and try not to worry too much. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power,” and the sooner you can obtain that knowledge from your veterinarian, the better equipped you’ll be to handle any potential health concerns.

Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and have any new lump or bump checked out by a professional. We hope that in your dog’s case, it’s nothing serious and that they’ll be back to their usual playful self in no time.

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