Lumps And Bumps On Dogs: When Should I Be Concerned

pet cancer diagnosisDogs of all ages can develop lumps and bumps.  It is important to know when these should be examined by a veterinarian.  According to Nationwide Pet Insurance, lumps and bumps on dogs were the third most common medical reason why pets visited their veterinarian in 2016.

If your pet has a lump or bump that is larger than the size of a pea and has been present for longer than one month, then you need an appointment with your veterinarian.  It is impossible to determine the cause of lumps and bumps on dogs without taking a sample from the mass.  Looking and feeling the mass can help in the diagnosis but a definitive diagnosis can only be made by taking an aspirate of the mass.

Aspiration of the mass is a simple procedure that is no more painful than receiving an injection.  This test can be performed in the examination room without anesthesia.  The procedure involves sticking a needle in the mass and aspirating it onto a microscope slide.  The slide is then prepared and stained.  Determination of the lumps and bumps on dogs can then be determined by looking under the microscope.  Certain types of skin cancer are easier to diagnose than others so your veterinarian may recommend sending the slide for a pathologist to review.

As dog’s age, they tend to develop more lumps and bumps so make sure to have them examined.  If detected early, skin cancer can be completely resolved by surgical removal of the mass.  Larger masses are more difficult to remove and leaving them can allow them to spread to other parts of the body.

Common lumps and bumps on dogs:


  • Skin tags
  • Warts
  • Moles
  • Lipoma (fatty tumor)
  • Sebaceous cyst
  • Histiocytoma (button cell tumor)


  • Mast cell tumor
  • Squamous cell tumor
  • Cutaneous hemangiosarcoma
  • Malignant melanoma

If you see something, do something about those lumps and bumps on dogs.  Why wait?  If your pet has a skin mass contact Guthrie Pet Hospital for a mass aspirate.

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