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What To Do When You Find Lumps on Your Dog

It is normal for pet owners to affectionately run their hands over their pets. Dogs love that! Aside from checking if there are any knots in its hair, running through your dog’s body allows you to feel any lumps on your dog.

Most of these bumps and lumps on your dog are fat deposits or lipomas, which are mostly benign. Some pet owners may be alarmed feeling these unusual bumps, but it is best to let the veterinarian see your dog before jumping to conclusions.

Generally, most of these lumps on your dog are not serious. Just to be sure, though, it is best to have it checked anyway.

Never assume that these would go away in time. The growth should be carefully examined by the veterinarian so you would know how to manage the condition.

Causes of Bumps and Lumps

Skin lumps can either be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are growths that slowly grow and just stay as they are. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, are growths that rapidly grow and may spread to other organs or bones.

Take note that not all lumps on your dog should scare you. Tumors are new tissue growth underneath the skin, while most of the other lumps may be caused by an accumulation of cells or fluids under the skin.


The only way to exactly determine the type of growth on your pet is to let it undergo a thorough examination including a biopsy. This procedure involves taking a sample tissue from the dog’s body to determine if the growth Is benign or malignant.

There are different types of biopsies that can be performed to determine the cause of the unusual tissue growth:

  • Needle biopsy: A needle is used to access the new growth.
  • Aspiration biopsy: A needle withdraws a sample out of a mass. This is often referred to as fine-needle aspiration.
  • Skin biopsy: It uses a blade to cut out a sample of the growth.
  • Surgical biopsy: This can either be open or by using a laparoscope wherein the growth may be located in hard-to-reach areas. Through this, a portion of the growth or the whole mass may be taken out.

Alternatively, CT scan may be done in areas that cannot be physically seen or felt. It may be helpful to see the extent of the growth of the mass.

Types of Growth

As mentioned, there are many types of growth that may have grown under your pet’s skin. The following are the common types of lumps on your dog:


These are painful lumps that have formed due to a localized infection. Such infections could be coming from a bite, presence of a foreign object or a wound. An abscess is contained in a sac that contains a large amount of pus (thick yellowish or greenish liquid that consists of dead white blood cells and bacteria with tissue debris and serum). These lumps are prone to rupture.

Apocrine cysts

These are intraepithelial cysts that are lined by apocrine secretory epithelium. These are filled with fluid caused by obstructed skin glands. The cysts collapse when cut.


These are formed from accumulation of blood under the skin after a trauma. This swelling is usually painful but benign.


These are small, firm and dome-shaped lumps that usually appears on the head, earflaps, and legs. They often disappear even without treatment.

Injection-sit reactions

These are quite common, even in humans, after an injection is administered, which often forms into tender bumps that usually fade in a couple of days.


These occur due to accumulation of fat deposits that are common in overweight dogs. These benign tumors consist of soft, smooth clumps of fat cells that can grow bigger. These are normally found in the abdomen, chest, and front legs.

Malignant skin tumors

These are growing lumps that every pet owner should take notice of. It is important to immediately bring the dog to the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Sebaceous gland hyperplasia

This involves the over-secretion of sebum that grows rapidly. These are benign tumors that appear to be smooth or wart-like, and are most often found on the eyelids, legs or torso.


Every type of cell in the body can potentially develop into a cancerous tissue. Therefore, careful evaluation and diagnosis should be performed. Additionally, it is equally important to determine other factors such as age and the extent of growth to determine the kind of treatment to be done.

  • Chemotherapy: It is an adjunct treatment given after surgery has been performed.
  • Gene therapy
  • Surgery: It is the most common treatment done to eliminate the dangerous lump through excision.
  • Radiation Therapy: These are done to invasive tumors and for tumors that may tend to spread rapidly throughout the body.

More Tips To Address Lumps on Your Dog

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The best approach to understanding what to do about bumps and lumps on your dog is to be cautious and treat each situation individually. For cases where the situation involves a malignant tumor, regular check-up is needed and that every lump or growth should be submitted for histopathology.

The treatment options stated above may not be advisable in certain situations, wherein it may put your dog’s health at risk rather than providing a solution to the condition.

As a precautionary measure, ensure that you always provide the right kind of food for your dog to keep him healthy. Moreover, make it a habit to constantly check his body for any growth. Early detection can save your dog’s life.

If ever you find lumps on your dog, don’t panic. Most of the time these are just benign growths. However, to be certain, allow your veterinarian to check your dog. That way, you can have peace of mind, and be able to know how to properly manage any condition he may have developed.

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Dog Lover
Madona is the writer at Barkily.