When it comes to our furry friends, we tend to notice every little detail. For most pet owners, finding a lump on their dog is an immediate cause for panic and worry. These little lumps and bumps can be caused by many things, some more concerning than others. The key is knowing how to manage them and when to seek out your vet’s advice.
Here at Ascot Vet, we deal with many instances of lumps that have appeared on dogs. These can sometimes appear on your cats as well, but typically this occurs much less frequently. The best course of action should you find a lump that you’re concerned about is to make an appointment with your vet. In the interim, it is important to monitor the lump carefully so you can assist your vet with any key details that may help with a diagnosis.
Monitor the lump and keep a log:
When you first find a lump on your dog, it is important to examine it quite carefully. Feel the lump with your fingers and find out if the lump moves around relatively easily under the skin. Fatty lumps tend to be more mobile and flexible. Measure the diameter of the lump, take a photo and note down the details with the date.
When should you book an appointment?
If you’re concerned in any way, it’s always best to book an appointment with your local vet in order to get peace of mind at the very least. There are cases where you should book an appointment sooner rather than later, and if you’re carefully monitoring the lump, you should seek out professional attention if you see the following:
- If the lump is fixed in place and does not move around at all when you touch it with your fingers.
- If the lump is bleeding or oozing in any way.
- If it is over 1cm in diameter.
- If the lump is painful to touch.
What to expect at the vet:
There are a number of diagnostic tools available to vets to find out whether the lump is cause for genuine concern.
- Typically, your vet will start with a fine needle aspirate to get a sample of the cells in the lump. They may look at these cells in the clinic, or send them to a specialist pathologist to investigate further. Looking under the microscope can give the vet a good idea of whether the lump is scary or not.
If the vet or pathologist isn’t happy with the appearance of the cells under the microscope, then they may choose to remove the lump under general anaesthetic.
- In some cases, your vet or pathologist may determine the lump poses no immediate harm and may recommend waiting until your pet goes under anaesthetic for another procedure and removing the lump then.
- If the lump is removed, it may be sent for further testing to determine if the lump has spread beyond the removal site or if the vet has managed to remove all signs of the worrying lump.
- If the vet is not concerned with what they see under the microscope and no further action is required, it is still recommended to keep checking on the lump and keep your log up to date.
The most important thing is to stay vigilant when it comes to small changes in your pet. Our priority at Ascot Vet is to ensure that we can provide the best care as soon as a problem arises. So stay alert for any lumps on your pooch and let your veterinarian know about them as soon as they appear. That way, you can ensure that your furry friend is in tip-top health all the time.