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There are only a few surprises that can compare to finding a new bump or lump on your dog while you’re petting him. Finding a mass can come as quite a surprise for pet owners. What you need to remember in situations like this is that not all bumps mean the same thing. They don’t all lead back to cancer. In order to be extra sure, you should let your veterinarian take a look at it.
There are different types of bumps and lumps that your dog could have and not all of them are cancerous. They could just be harmless lipomas (deposits of fat under the skin.) These lipomas are fairly common and are not a cause for concern. Your vet may need a biopsy to make sure that it isn’t anything serious. Don’t panic at the word biopsy, it’s just a test to rule out the possibility of the bump being cancerous.
These are one of the most common ‘lumps’ that you can find on dogs. They stay in one place, are painless, and benign. Again, don’t jump to conclusions when you hear the word benign. All that means is that it is a harmless mass that doesn’t metastasize. They are well-behaved masses that don’t even have to be removed. In very rare cases, lipomas can continue to grow and cause discomfort to your dog. If this is the case, you’ll have to have it surgically removed.
Non-cancerous bumps you may find on your dog include warts, cysts, hematomas (blisters), hair follicles that might be infected. Although these may cause some discomfort to your dog, there is no need to panic. The lumps are not cancerous and don’t have a drastic health impact.
These growths can be one of two things. They can be either malignant or benign. They can often even share characteristics of both so they’re a little tricky to distinguish. Malignant lumps spread and metastasize rapidly. Benign growths stay in the same place and don’t cause much damage. However, they can grow to enormous sizes that can get uncomfortable. It is advisable to remove these tumors before they reach their prime size.
In the off chance that one of the lumps you find on your dog end up being cancerous, there are a number of treatments that you could try. These include:
- SurgeryYou can opt for this simple option to eradicate these lumps from their roots in benign cases.
- ChemotherapyIn dogs, the chemo that’s administered is not as strong as the treatment given to people. Since dogs tend to live shorter lives, the priority is the comfort and not the cure. Chemo is often administered as a precautionary procedure after excising the tumor by means of surgical procedures.
- RadiationAnother popular option in the treatment of cancerous cells. Radiation is usually used to treat tumors that don’t have clear borders and are as such difficult to remove. Radiation reduces the size of the tumor in order for it to have clearer borders for an easier excision.Before panicking, make sure you have reason to panic. Contact your veterinarian immediately after you find a suspicious looking bump or lump on your dog.