If when you pet your dog, you notice a strange lump, do not be too alarmed, as most are usually benign. But, be careful, it can also be a serious problem, so you should take it to the vet for a diagnosis and treatment. If you are worried thinking “My dog has a lump, is it serious?”, In this post we are going to help you.
9 types of bumps on the skin of dogs
Broadly speaking, the lumps that we can find around the skin of dogs are classified into two types: benign and malignant . Fortunately, the benign ones are the most common and easiest to treat and cure.
In the case of lumps in malignant dogs, early diagnosis and proper treatment are key elements to achieve a higher percentage of cure.
Here are some things you should know about nodules – benign or malignant – that can affect your dog.
Generally benign lumps
1. Warts or Papilloma’s
Warts are groups of abnormal cells , shaped like cauliflower, generated by the papillomavirus. It is a benign pathology, which is usually detected in the skin and mouth of dogs. It appears more frequently in elderly animals or those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy. Although, as a general rule, they do not require treatment, their evolution should be medically controlled, since they can lead to painful or malignant forms.
2. Sebaceous cysts
This type of lump in dogs arises as a result of a blocked sebaceous gland and can affect any breed. Like most fat lumps, sebaceous cysts are benign and usually heal on their own after eruption and encapsulation. But, if they persist or bother, they may require surgical removal.
The hematoma is a blood-filled inflammation that appears in a certain area of the skin, after a strong blow. In general, it should not alarm us too much, since it tends to be reabsorbed and disappear little by little thanks to the lymphatic system. What we must check is the cause-effect relationship, that is to say, that the hematoma, and therefore the lump on the dog’s body, was caused by a contusion and not for other reasons.
4. Papules Papules
or pustules are common skin lesions, without pus or serosity, with relief, solid and less than one centimeter in diameter.
The origin of the papules can be allergic, but they can also arise from follicular infections or exposure to irritating or toxic substances. These lesions usually disappear without treatment, but they can become infected and then require veterinary attention.
These types of bumps in dogs are fatty , soft, generally benign and located under the skin. They are usually detected in middle-aged animals and do not require their removal, unless they cause some discomfort to the dog. After the diagnosis, if the result points towards the malignancy of the tumor, the veterinarian will surely recommend its removal, which is usually simple, when it is a small mass.
6. Abscesses wounds or inflammations
The abscesses are bags filled with pus , which are often seen around the infected wounds . These lumps are generated when the immune system tries to control a skin infection , such as that arising after a poorly healed wound or an insect bite or sting.
Generally, the treatment is simple and the lump remits with creams or ointments, but a visit to the veterinarian will always be necessary to control the extent of the infection and prescribe the most appropriate treatment or intervention.
7. Vaccine lumps
If you have vaccinated your dog and notice a small and hard lump at the point of the puncture, you should not worry too much, as it is common and usually disappears over time, sometimes it even takes a couple of weeks.
8. Mast cell tumors
The mast cells are cells spread throughout the body and whose function is associated with inflammatory and allergic reactions but sometimes some inexplicably, can become malignant.
These masses can appear in any area of the body of our dogs, although more frequently within or under the skin. The places commonly affected are the trunk or the extremities.
These bumps in dogs can have a firm or soft lump appearance , similar to other benign and malignant bumps. They can change in size and show various signs, such as redness, bruising, ulceration, swelling, or hair loss.
They affect older dogs and certain breeds more frequently , such as: bulldog, boston, boxer, labrador or golden retriever.
Since it is impossible to diagnose these lumps with the naked eye, it is necessary for the veterinarian to perform tests to confirm or rule out whether or not it is a mast cell tumor.
Malignant lumps: malignant skin tumors
Among the most worrying bumps on the skin of our dogs are the mammary tumor, hemangiosarcoma, fibrosarcoma and squamous cell carcinoma:
- Breast tumor: it is the most common cancer in bitches that have not been spayed . In these cases, early diagnosis is of vital importance, so when detecting any lump in the mammary area of our bitch, we must immediately take it to the vet.
- Hemangiosarcoma: for this type of cancer in dogs , the characteristic symptoms are strange red or black spots on the skin; it is a tumor that grows from blood cells , which explains its color; only if it is located in the outer layer of the skin and is removed without affecting other internal areas, can a hopeful prognosis be established.
- Fibrosarcoma: this type of cancer is associated with fibrous connective tissue, it has an appearance of a solid, subcutaneous, painless and poorly defined mass. It is of low predisposition in dogs, and preferentially affects certain breeds, among them, the setter, Breton spaniel, Doberman or golden retriever. Its prognosis is reserved , depending on each case in particular and the possibility of a clean removal as well as the effectiveness of other specific treatments; due to its seriousness, early detection is essential.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This epithelial neoplasm is considered highly malignant . The good news is that it does not usually metastasize. L signals as alarm may be small lumps or sores that are slow to heal, especially around the head. It goes without saying that, faced with any of these symptoms, we must urgently take our dog to the vet’s office.
We will not tire of repeating that even the smallest of anomalies or lumps in the dog’s body that we observe is reason enough for the veterinary visit .