Lumps and Bumps on Dogs: What you Should Know

As your dog ages, you might notice the emergence of lumps on their bodies. Though your first inclination is likely to worry and rush them to the vet, these lumps and bumps are much more common than you may think. Most lumps are fatty tumors and although they could be malignant, fewer than half are cancerous.

What to Do When You Notice a Lump
If you discover a new lump, take your dog to the vet to determine if it is malignant or benign. You should also take note of the shape, size, and color so you can tell your vet what it looked like when you first noticed the lump.

Keep a Watch on the Lump
If your vet decides it is not a risk to your pet’s health, it is important for you to keep your eye on the lump to make sure it doesn’t get larger, change shape/color, or if it seems to affect your dog’s behavior/ appetite. If any of these occur, follow up with your vet again to check on the lump.

Get to the Vet ASAP if…

  1. The lump grows quickly.
  2. The lump is swollen.
  3. Your dog appears to be in pain.

How Can One Tell if a Lump is Cancerous?
When you take your pet to the vet, the vet may be able to tell whether or not the lump is malignant or benign just by feeling and looking at it. But, often times, the vet will perform a biopsy on the lump to make sure it is, in fact, not cancerous.

The Lump is Cancerous, What Now?
If your vet has completed a biopsy and determined that the lump is cancerous they will need to perform surgery to remove it. Going forward, you will need to check them daily for the appearance of new lumps and bumps as they may require additional surgery, or even radiation, if the cancer continues to appear.

When a lump first appears on your pet, it is understandable if you begin to worry. But once again, most lumps are not cancerous, so make sure to have it checked by your vet before you start thinking about the scary “what if’s” of cancer and surgery. Here at 4Paws Insurance, we want to help you be as knowledgeable as you can about your pet’s health, help you ensure they receive the best possible care, and give them live a long and happy life!