Advice on what to do if you notice lumps and bumps on your pet
(KUSI) – Helen Woodward Animal Center veterinarian Patricia Carter stopped by Good Morning San Diego give some advice on what to do and how to care for your pets if you notice and lumps or bumps on your pets.
Types of bumps:
Masses that grow on our pets can be malignant which means they can spread to other parts of the body or cause harm where they are growing or benign. Benign masses are still a type of cancer but they do not spread and do not typically cause any problems with the pet’s quality or length of life. There can also be swellings or lumps that are not a mass but mimic them such as would happen with a reaction to an insect bite, hives or cysts which are normal cells but in an abnormal place.
Common lumps include papillomas (warts), cysts, sebaceous adenomas, and lipomas. There are many other lumps and bumps you can find on your pet. Masses can occur anywhere on the body that can be seen and felt easily but also inside the body in the chest and the abdomen
What to do when you find a bump:
When you find a lump on your pet, see if you can investigate further. Sometimes what pet owners think are lumps are actually scabs, foreign material stuck in the fur, or parasites like ticks. All of those situations should be properly addressed as well but can be addressed differently than lumps. Due to the wide variety of lumps, there are certainly lumps that should be addressed sooner than others.
Lumps that are growing rapidly causing the pet discomfort or opening and draining or bleeding should be seen right away. A mass that starts to grow in an area like the armpit or on a lower leg can grow and cause discomfort when they walk but often times these are benign lipomas. We would still recommend removing to avoid any changes in ability to walk.
If your pet has never had a lump before or has a history of malignant growths then it is highly recommended to have them checked out by your veterinarian to ensure it is not something that needs to be taken care of sooner than later.