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Dog Advice | Lumps and Bumps | Vets4Pets

Petplan insurance paid out over £4.6 million in claims for lumps & bumps in 2015.

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What causes lumps and bumps?

Lumps and bumps can be caused by a variety of things including tumours, infections, blood-filled spaces and cysts, and are more or less visible depending on whether they are near to the surface of the skin or in the deeper layers.

All dogs can develop lumps and bumps in the layers of fat, skin and muscle that cover their bodies. 

How are lumps and bumps treated?

If you find a lump on your dog, your vet will need to determine if it is malignant or benign.

Treatments and outcomes depend on the size, location and exact nature of the lump. Examples include lipomas (soft fatty lumps), warts, abscesses and tumours, which can be benign or malignant.

If necessary, your vet may wish to draw some cells from the lump via a needle and syringe (FNA - fine needle aspiration). The cells will be placed on a slide and evaluated under a microscope to try to determine what the cause of the lump is. Your vet may also take a biopsy of the lump. This involves removing a piece of the lump and sending it off to a pathologist for evaluation. In a lot cases, your vet may prefer to surgically remove the entire lump straight away and send it in for evaluation to determine the best treatment.

Tips for owners:

  • For your peace of mind and your dog's health, it's important not to ignore lumps, but to get them evaluated quickly.

  • Book an appointment at your local Vets4Pets and be prepared to answer a few questions. A clinical history along with a careful examination of the lumps will help your vet determine the best course of treatment. For example, you may be asked: How long has the lump been there? Does the lump bother your pet? Does it seem itchy, irritated, painful or tender? Has your pet been continually chewing or licking at it?

  • Consider taking out insurance for your pet such as a Petplan Covered For Life® policy in case your dog develops a common condition such as lumps and bumps, so you can receive help covering the cost of any unexpected veterinary treatment they require.