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Dog Lumps

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Dog Lumps (Lumps on a Dog's Body)

Signs and Symptoms

Is it benign or malignant? This is the first thing most people think when they find a lump somewhere on their dog. They can be discovered while you are grooming your buddy or if he just stops by for a good petting. These lumps are quite common in dogs.

A benign tumor will stay in only one area and will grow slowly. If a malignant (cancerous) tumor rises it will differ in that it will grow quickly and can spread throughout your dog’s body to its bones and even organs. A tumor is defined as an excessive growth of tissue. Lumps, on the other hand, are merely an accumulation of fluid or cells under your dog’s skin and are considered to be superficial.

Many Causes

Most lumps are not a life threatening occurrence. Some are merely pimple like growths that will pop just as a human pimple would and will clear up without further steps.

An abscess may be painful and your dog can experience Dog Pain. These are caused by an infection or by a foreign object in the dog’s skin. The abscess will contain blood and pus and is likely to rupture. If it does not do so on its own, veterinary care may be in order.

Does that floppy eared dog shake their head a bit more than usual? It is possible that it is caused by Dog Ear Infections or an object in the ear. Violent shaking can cause Dog Ear Hematomas in the flap of the ear and can be troublesome. A swollen flap can also be the sign of some form of abscess.

Lipomas or fatty tumors are common in pets that are overweight. They are usually on their chest or abdomen and are movable most of the time. These are merely clumps of fatty cells and grow quite large.

Sweat glands can get blocked. These sebaceous glands secret the oil that will lubricate your dog’s skin. The tumors will be raised and are often found on the body, eyelids or legs of the dog.

A malignant tumor can often be identified by a cut or wound that won't heal. Any rapid enlargement of a mass on your dog requires immediate attention. The most common malignant tumor in dogs is the mast cell tumor. This is a fast growing type of Dog Cancer.

By grooming regularly and loving frequently, you can detect many of these lumps in their early stages. Brushing, petting and hugs are indeed your dog’s best defense.

Calling the Veterinarian

Lipomas and cysts are easily recognized by any veterinarian. In the case of a potentially malignant tumor, a fine needle may be inserted into the lump and sent for analysis to a lab. A biopsy will usually require some anesthesia or sedation. Hematomas and some abscesses can be drained by your veterinarian and antibiotics prescribed. Malignant tumors may require surgery, chemotherapy or possibly radiation.

The most important thing to remember about finding lumps on your dog is to have them checked when you first notice them. Do not let a rapidly growing mass go untreated. Malignant tumors that may appear superficial can quickly metastasize to other parts of the body. Some malignant tumors may appear merely as pea size lumps under the skin. Your best bet is the safe bet. Have your dog checked by a veterinarian if you find any lump that wasn't there the last time you checked.

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