Pets develop all kinds of skin lumps and bumps. Most of them are minor. Occasionally, however, lumps are a symptom of a serious or even life-threatening disease. Our vet at North Central Animal Hospital in Phoenix can help you determine whether the lumps on your pet are normal or require more attention.
Dogs and Cats
Most lumps in dogs and cats are lipomas, also known as fatty tumors. These are benign (not cancerous) and often appear in animals that are older or overweight. Other types of benign skin lumps include:
- sebaceous cysts, which are blocked oil glands, and more common in dogs than cats.
- Warts (DELETE) ADD: Adenomas, nine skin tumors that look like wards
- abscess, or buildup of pus under the skin
- mast cell tumors
- mild trauma, such as an injection site or injury
Less than half of the skin lumps and bumps in dogs and cats are cancerous. ADD :However testing is needed to assess each one.
Birds also develop skin lumps and bumps. Types of lumps in birds include:
- fat deposits
- an organ swelling because of disease
- an egg (in a female bird)
- cysts, or tissue sacs filled with fluid or material (e.g. feather cysts filled with keratin)
- tumors, benign and malignant
Prevention and Treatment
Some skin lumps and bumps can be prevented. Lipomas, for example, often can be prevented by helping your pet to maintain a healthy weight and eat a healthy diet. Limiting a pet's exposure to herbicides and pesticides also can help prevent some lipomas.
When pets do contract skin lumps, treatment varies. Some, such as those caused by a minor injury, will heal on their own. Others require treatment or removal. Removal or treatment is always easier and less expensive if undertaken early. We recommend calling our veterinarian as soon as possible if you feel a lump.
When you bring your pet into our office, our veterinarian will ask questions about when you first noticed the lump, if it appeared suddenly, whether its appearance has changed, and if your pet's behavior has changed. She may remove some cells with a needle and examine them under a microscope. She may also remove additional tissue for a biopsy.
If the lump is cancerous, it may be removed or treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy in cats and dogs. Removal or treatment can often be done on an outpatient basis. Occasionally it will require an overnight stay in our pet hospital.
If you notice a lump or bump, contact us at North Central Animal Hospital in Phoenix as soon as possible. Most lumps are benign, but for those that aren't, quick treatment could save your pet's life. Phone us at 602 395 9773.