Like any good dog owner, you spend plenty of time pampering and petting your furbaby. You just love to run your fingers through your pooch’s fur and nuzzle him close and—wait, what is this weird bump? Could it be cancer? Should you be concerned?
Until you get a vet’s opinion and have tests done, you’ll probably think the worst. But relax for a second. Most lumps are just fatty tumors, which are completely benign. Fewer than half of those weird bumps that show up on dogs end up being cancerous.
Still, unless you’re sure you know where the bump came from, it’s a good idea to bring your pup to the vet for some tests. If you notice fast growth, swelling, redness, or pus, set an appointment even sooner.
Schedule your appointment today by filling out the form in the sidebar or giving us a call at 240-252-7467.
What That Weird Bump Could Be
Here are the most common causes of weird bumps on canine skin:
- Fatty tumor: Is your pooch getting on in years? Fatty tumors most often appear around the ribs in middle-aged and older dogs. In fact, they’re so common that vets even consider them a natural part of aging. Unless they cause your dog pain, no treatment is usually necessary.
- Sebaceous cyst: Basically, this is a pimple caused by a blocked oil gland. Eventually it will burst, like pimples do, and ooze a white substance. It may look nasty, but it will heal.
- Wart: Young dogs tend to get warts around their mouths if they contract a virus. These usually go away on their own. If a wart sprouts on your older dog, it may need to be removed.
- Abscess: This buildup of pus under the skin can be caused by an infection or insect bite. The vet can drain the abscess so it can heal.
- Mast cell tumor: This is the verdict you don’t want to hear from your vet. It’s a type of skin cancer most often found in boxers, beagles, Labradors, Boston terriers and schnauzers, though other breeds can get it, too. Vets don’t know what causes this type of skin cancer to develop, but some cases have been linked to skin irritants and inflammation. Genetics may also play a role. If your pooch has a mast cell tumor, you must seek treatment or it could be fatal.
What to Expect at the Vet
To help determine the origins of the bump, your vet will ask:
- Did the bump appear suddenly?
- Have you noticed whether the shape, color or size has changed?
- Has your dog’s behavior changed since you noticed the bump?
To find out whether the bump is a cause for concern, the vet will remove some cells from it with a needle. Under a microscope, sometimes it’s immediately apparent if the bump is just a fatty tumor. Other times, a sample needs to go to the lab for a biopsy. This process takes a few days. If you find out the bump is cancerous, you can explore the possibility of surgery.
Even if tests come back negative, and you and your vet agree not to remove the bump, keep a close eye out for others. New bumps are not necessarily the same as the original one.
Schedule an Appointment for Your Dog
The descriptions here may give you an idea of what that weird bump is, but to be sure, set an appointment for your dog at Germantown Vet. We’ll give you important test results so you can either set your mind at ease or pursue surgery to have a malignant bump removed.
Contact us online or by phone at 240-252-7467 to schedule an appointment!