We commonly see all kinds of lumps and bumps in our pets. We recommend checking your pet regularly to keep track of any changes. These can range from benign cysts and fatty lumps to malignant cancers of the skin.
Giving your vet the following information will help in checking the nature of a lump:
- How long has it been there?
- Has it changed in size?
- Are there any more elsewhere on the body?
- Have they had a lump in this area before?
- Is it itchy?
- Is there any hair loss?
- Any other signs of illness in your pet?
The best way to find out what type of lump is present is to take some samples of the cells. This is a quick procedure performed with a small needle. Most pets will tolerate this whilst conscious but we can also arrange sedation if needed. The cells are sent to the lab. Here they are examined under a microscope and checked for cancerous cells.
Once these results are received (usually within a few working days), we can make a plan about further treatment for your pet. Sometimes we will book in an operation to remove the lump under general anaesthetic or sometimes further tests, such as a small biopsy, is recommended where a slice of the lump is removed.
It is always advisable to get lumps in your pets checked out, just as you would with humans. Early action is key in cases of skin cancer with the aim to treat any swellings before they have chance to grow or spread around the body.