Nobody can feel the same amount of affection and love towards your dog but for yourself, if you own a dog. We believe you would go miles to ensure that your dog has a healthy lifestyle and never suffers from any miserable disease. Therefore, you always try your dog to have regular checkups with a professional vet to avoid any bad news.
Unfortunately, you cannot control a few things, like the hidden development of any disease inside your dog. In addition, several health conditions might not become evident at an early stage, but later they turn out to be drastic for your little fellow’s health. One such condition may be the appearance of lumps and bumps on your dog’s body, which may or may not be serious!
If your dog has recently developed lumps on its skin, please do not worry! This article aims to provide you with valuable information on the appearance of lumps on dogs, their types, and much more when they develop. So, let’s get started!
What are lumps?
Before moving on to the types of lumps and bumps that may appear on your dog’s body, you must understand what lumps are exactly. Whenever you observe a localized swelling on your dog’s body, you would prefer it as a ‘lump.’ Lumps can happen to be hard and soft depending on the root cause of their appearance.
Understandably, we all are familiar with the correlation between lumps and cancers, so the first thing we get in our minds when we hear the word ‘lump’ is some cancer development. It would be better not to panic even if you have seen lump(s) on your dog’s body, and they are rarely cancerous. However, it would help if you did not ignore the sudden appearance of lumps on your pet.
Moreover, there are multiple risk factors for the outgrowth of lumps on your dog’s body, like increasing age of your dog, infections, inflammations, and sometimes cancers. Therefore, to evaluate the type of lump present on your dog’s body and the root cause, it would be best to see a professional vet as early as possible.
What causes lumps on dogs?
Lumps are one of the most common skin conditions among dogs. These can pop up at any time in your dog’s life. However, as mentioned earlier, older dogs tend to develop them more often than younger ones. In addition, if your dog suffers from any infection or inflammatory health condition, that may also contribute to the cause of the lumps.
Additionally, cancerous lumps are common in older dogs, while non-cancerous ones can also develop in young dogs.
Cancerous vs non-cancerous lumps
Understandably, seeing lumps on your dog’s body would worry you because everyone relates lumps with tumors. However, it would help if you learned that not every lump is cancerous. As mentioned earlier, there are two types of lumps based on gross touch; soft and hard.
If your dog contains soft lumps on its body, they are most likely non-cancerous. On the contrary, lumps that contain cancerous components are typically very hard. However, the final statement always depends on the biopsy sent by your vet to the lab.
Different types of lumps on dogs
Let’s have a light on the types of lumps that may appear on your dog’s body;
Lipomas are benign (not harmful) lumps present under the skin of your dog. On examination, these lumps will show fat-filled material. These lumps are not painful and keep growing. If your dog is heavyweight or obese, you may want to relate the lumps with lipoma. These benign skin conditions can occur among dogs of any age.
Most importantly, lipomas are the most common lumps your dog may develop.
You can see the appearance of skin tags usually on senior dogs. These tags are fibrous tissue (hard tissue) growths suspended by a stalk from the skin. The most common sites are chest, face, back, armpits, etc. The good news about these skin tags is they are neither benign nor cancerous. So these do not harm your dog ever.
Seeing a red button-shaped lump on your dog’s skin should worry you because it is different from non-cancerous lumps. However, if these red lumps that have recently appeared on your dog’s body turn out to be histiocytomas, you do not have to worry! These are usually harmless overgrowths of some cells of the immune system, which go away later.
However, you must not diagnose yourself! It would be best to take your dog to a professional vet so they can examine if the red lumps are Histiocytomas or any other serious cancer.
4. Sebaceous cyst
If the ducts of an oil-producing gland on your dog’s body become obstructed, it leads to the formation of a very large lump called a sebaceous cyst. The cyst can be single or multiple and is not harmful to your dog. Until the cyst remains uninfected, there is nothing to worry. However, if the lump ruptures, you will see pus coming out of the lump, which seems gross.
These sebaceous cysts usually resolve without treatment.
Abscesses are localized collections of pus. They can occur anywhere, inside the body on the surface of organs or outside under the skin. Mostly, abscesses are non-sterile, which means they occur following a bacterial infection. These appear as painful swellings as compared to non-infected lumps.
6. Urticarial hives
Like humans, dogs also suffer from Urticarial hives. A dog with an internal tendency of hives is allergic to some specific plant or bee sting, which leads to the formation of red, round and raised bumps on the skin that itch severely. You can differentiate this condition from other benign and cancerous lumps by severe itch.
Another common condition involving the skin of dogs is papilloma. Alternatively, papilloma is also called warts. The papillomavirus is responsible for the appearance of warts on your dog’s face, eyelids, mouth, genital area, etc. besides, the virus has a great tendency to spread. Warts that appear on dogs are very much similar to the ones you see in humans.
8. Perianal adenoma
As the name suggests, the lump may appear anywhere surrounding the anus, secondary to obstruction of a sebaceous (oil) gland. If you have an unneutered male dog, it would most likely develop perianal adenoma sometime in life; however, not necessarily. Although these lumps are not harmful and painful, if they rupture, they can cause ulcerated lesions.
Melanoma is a skin tumor that develops due to the excessive proliferation of melanocytes in the skin. These cells are responsible for giving pigment to the skin. It would help if you did not ignore any skin lump that appears different in color and irregular. It would be great to visit the vet as soon as possible to avoid any unwanted consequences for your dog.
When is it important to visit a vet?
First of all, whether you have observed a soft moveable lump on your dog’s body or an immovable hard one, you must not delay your dog’s visit to a professional vet. You may have basic knowledge about different lumps that tend to appear on your dog’s body, but you must not diagnose and treat it yourself.
It would be best to visit a professional vet immediately once you have noticed the development of lumps and bumps on various body parts of your dog. However, even a vet cannot provide a definite diagnosis without a biopsy and other important tests. Therefore, you must stay calm and positive!
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Undeniably, unusual lumps and bumps on your dog’s body may worry you. However, it would help if you kept in mind that not every lump tends to cause cancer. In this article, we have tried our best to discuss what lumps are, their types, and how to differentiate between cancerous and non-cancerous lumps on your dog.
Hopefully, it will prove helpful!