There are primarily two types of lumps. Those that are benign and not cancerous, and those that are malignant and cancerous. Like any other dog illness, it is important that you pay close attention to any lumps that appear on your dog. Keep a track of any changes in it. Check if it is growing at a fast rate, if it is painful to touch, if more lumps appeared, or if you are noticing some other changes in your pet. These are some of the questions that your vet will ask you. So be sure to notice such things as this will help you distinguish between the various types of lumps. Given below are some kinds of lumps that can be found on dogs.
Warts are lumps that occur due to a viral infection. These can appear anywhere on the body, from the face, limbs, torso, to the inside of the mouth. Older dogs are more susceptible to warts due to their weak immune system. These small round growths resemble human pimples. Dogs who have warts usually don't show any other symptom like lethargy etc. These warts don't last for a very long time and can be easily treated. The good news is that they are benign.
Abscess & Hematoma
Abscesses are pus-filled growths that usually occur near injury sites on the dog. These are primarily white blood cells that surround the infection to fight it. These too are benign lumps so one need not worry too much. Hematoma are blood-filled growths that occur near injury sights. These usually occur due to a defect in the clotting system.
Lipomas are fatty lumps that mostly affect middle-aged dogs or overweight dogs. These fatty tumors usually appear near the belly and are rarely cancerous. They are slow-growing but do have a tendency to become very large, in which case they have to be surgically removed.
Cysts are caused due to abnormalities in the skin gland. They are growths that are filled with cellular debris or fluids. These are the most common type of dog lumps. These too are benign.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinomas are malignant lumps. These don't have a tendency to spread to other areas and are mainly destructive to the local area of their origin. These mainly occur on short-coated dogs. In most cases, they can be removed surgically, otherwise chemotherapy is also quite effective.
Mast cell tumor
These are one of the most common types of malignant lumps found on dogs. Their treatment and diagnosis is quite difficult as their appearance and behavior towards the body differs from animal to animal. Mast cells occur naturally in the body. Overproduction of these cells leads to this type of cancer. A fine needle aspirate carried out to collect the cells present in the lumps can diagnose this tumor.
Treatment for Lumps
To diagnose lumps as malignant, vets either use a tool to suck out the cells from the lump, or if it is oozing fluids, some fluid is taken onto a slide and tested. Tissue culture can also help determine whether a lump is cancerous or not. If it is not cancerous, the vet will either remove it or prescribe necessary medication. In case of cancerous lumps, either chemotherapy or surgical methods are used.
Discovering a lump on dogs can be quite worrisome for pet owners but it is best to keep an eye on the lump to notice any changes. Even if it is diagnosed as benign, it is best to keep getting it checked from time to time. As in some rare cases, benign lumps can become malignant.