Oh no,I discovered a lump on my pet! Part 1

January 14, 2013

Medicine Cases

mastcell

It must be very scary to discover a lump on your pet especially if it a decent size. I ask you not to panic and I hope this post will guide you on what to do next. I will be including lots of pictures and some may not be so pretty.

The rule of thumb with lumps is if it is growing too quickly and bothering your pet (appears red or inflamed) then it needs to be attended to immediately. However, this does not apply to all lumps. Some skin tumors can be slow growing but may still have a potential to spread to other areas. Bottom line, if you notice a lump on your pet, then get it checked out by your local veterinarian, better be safe than sorry!

Your veterinarian should always offer to do a fine needle aspirate to identify the lump as palpation alone is not diagnostic.

Some lumps don’t aspirate well and so a diagnosis can’t be made without collecting a biopsy sample. I routinely do fine needle aspirates on lumps and if I can’t identify the cells under the microscope, then I recommend sending off the sample to the pathologist or collecting a biopsy sample. Otherwise, you have the choice of measuring the lump and keeping a very close eye on it and it if starts to grow quickly then book in your pet for surgical removal of the lump.

Lipomas

In geriatric patients, fatty lumps or ‘lipomas’  are quite common. It is an abnormal deposit of fat under the skin and we aren’t exactly sure of what instigates their development. Overweight patients and certain breeds like Labradors, Golden retrievers and Corgis seem to be quite prone to developing this type of lump. They are usually soft and unattached to the underlying tissue and benign. Lipomas are easily diagnosed with a fine needle aspirate.

This is a lipoma examined under the microscope. It appears like water droplets on a slide.

FNA of dog lump

These lumps must be closely monitored as they can occasionally become cancerous. We don’t often resect these lumps as they generally recur. However, if they are causing discomfort for our patients or impeding their mobility due to their location or size e.g. in the axillary region (constant friction), then we recommend removing them. We also surgically remove them if they grow too big as they can burst. Occasionally, they can grow between muscles and feel quite hard and be mistaken for nasty lumps.

The take home massage is just because ‘lipomas’ are common in geriatrics, it does not mean we must assume it is one without getting it checked and that includes a fine needle aspirate being performed.

One of my most adorable geriatric patients came in as his owner noticed a sudden growth over his shoulder. It was not painful but had grown very rapidly and was quite large; about the size of a soccer ball. Palpation revealed it was a very hard lump and the fine needle aspirate was inconclusive. We proceeded with immediate surgery to investigate the lump.

Oscar the 10 year labrador

Oscar (2)

Oscar under general anesthetic investigating his very large hard lump.

Oscar's lump

This is an inside view of Oscar’s lump. At that stage, I was still very concerned and collected a biopsy sample and sent it off to the pathologist. Thankfully it turned out to be a lipoma.

Liposuction

Histiocyte

Another very common lump that usually affects young dogs is a ‘histiocytoma’ or ‘histiocyte’. This is an allergic type of benign tumor that mostly occurs in younger dogs. They take the form of raised fur-less reddened lumps. On gross examination, they are indistinct to ‘mast cells’ which are very nasty tumors

It is important to confirm they are histiocytes and that would involve sending either a fine needle aspirate or biopsy sample to a pathologist to examine. Generally they spontaneously resolve after a few weeks.

I tend to prescribe antihistamine for patients with this type of lump as it will help reduce the irritation and itching associated with it.

‘Simba’ is a 2 year old golden retriever that developed a 5 cent piece reddened fur-less lump under his jaw. It was itchy and that’s how the owner noticed it. We collected fine needle aspirates and sent them away to the pathologist and results came back confirming it is very likely a histiocyte. The lump disappeared on its own.

Simba

This young jack russell terrier presented to me with this lump under its right eye and it was at a very tricky spot if surgical resection was required. I proceeded with a full general anesthetic and collected a biopsy sample of the lump. I needed a definitive diagnosis of the lump and the fine needle aspirates would not have been sufficient. Thankfully results confirmed it was a histiocyte and it also disappeared on its own.

jrt with lump on eye

‘Penny’ was only 6 months old and she suddenly developed a reddened fur-less lump over her right shoulder that kept growing rapidly until it reached the size of a lemon. We proceeded with surgical resection of the lump and sent off a biopsy sample from it which confirmed it was a histiocyte. This is a picture of her after she had recovered from her surgery. The scar is the war wound she was left with after her surgery.

penny is just unbearable

Mast cell

Now I would like to talk about the dreaded ‘mast cell’ as this is one of the most common cancerous skin lumps in dogs. In my experience, these tumors can come in all shapes, sizes and forms. They can be irritating and sometimes they can appear quite inactive. I don’t think this tumor fulfills its typical textbook description. I always offer to do fine needle aspirates on any lumps discovered on your dog or cat to rule in/out a mast cell. I often diagnose mast cells on fine needle aspirates. In any case, the next step after that would be resection of the lump with a decent margin (minimum of 1.5-2 cm) and sending it off to the pathologist. For those mast cells in very difficult locations like distal limbs or high grade ones, I give the owners the option of taking their pet to a specialist for complete resection.

The specialists have the advantage of advanced imaging like CT which will delineate the margins of the mast cell and if it has already spread.

‘Ella’ is a 6 year old female desexed fox terrier cross in premium health. She presented to me for a swelling over her right elbow that would spontaneously shrink then bulge.

Ella

Ella's swelling

My examination of the affected area made me suspect she had a joint issue. Xrays were absolutely normal so I proceeded to collect a fine needle aspirate of her lump and this is a picture of the sample under the microscope. I was actually shocked to discover it was a mast cell as it didn’t fit the typical presentation.

In the pictures below, the densely purple cells with purple granules are the mast cells.

Cytology of mast cell

Mast cells

As for ‘Charlie’, he sure has been unlucky in that he has had 3 mast cells resected from him over the past 2-3 years. His first two mast cells were discovered when he was 5 years old. Thankfully his owners attended to them fairly quickly and they were all completely removed.

charlie

This is ‘Cindy’ and she is a 13 years old golden retriever that developed this very large lump fairly quickly behind her ear. My colleague proceeded with removing the lump and unfortunately an ear ablation was required for complete excision of the lump.

Cindy

In cats, mast cells present in a much more diffuse manner and can be wide-spread throughout the skin of the patient. This is a picture of a geriatric cat with a very aggressive form of the mast cell tumor.

diffuse mast cell in cat

Bottom line is you should never judge a lump by the way it looks. Palpation alone is not sufficient to make a diagnosis.  Your veterinarian should offer to do a fine needle aspirate for any routine lump check.

If the fine needle aspirate isn’t conclusive, then you must either closely monitor the lump or organize for it to be biopsied by your veterinarian.

I have discussed a handful of the most common skin lumps and have many more to go through. Please make sure to read the sequel to this post. And if you have any questions about the three lumps I mentioned in this blog, I’m all ears…

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About Rayya T-Malaeb

Hi I am Dr. Rayya. I created this site to take you on a journey of my life as a vet! I hope to inspire you, teach you, learn from you. Most importantly help pet owners and animals around the world by sharing pictures, videos and posts from my everyday experiences.

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64 Comments on “Oh no,I discovered a lump on my pet! Part 1”

  1. Elliott Garber Says:

    What a great resource, Rayya! I will definitely be sharing this with my clients who are interested in learning more about the various lumps and bumps that our pets can get. The vast majority of my FNAs turn out to be lipomas, but I know it’s still necessary to do them just in case.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Thanks for your input Elliott. Great to hear your are going to share my post with your clients.
      I have been shocked once too many times when collecting FNAs of lumps that I expect to be lipomas and turn out to be mast cells or some other nasty.

      Reply

  2. John Says:

    This happens so much with our pets, have seen it too many times. My sister’s dog had a big lump cut out years ago. Poor dogs. Great blog, so much info and great photos!

    Reply

  3. Sheila Morris Says:

    As always, Dr. Rayya, your information is very helpful for all of us Pups in cyberspace. Thanks for making me feel better about my lumps. The old woman Slow worries herself crazy about ‘em, but Hottie Doc says no worries so we roll with her. You’re the BEST!!

    Reply

  4. boyd hore Says:

    Thank you very much RAYYA that was really interesting . Please keep the information coming .

    Reply

  5. Sherri Maddick Says:

    I concur – very interesting, but I honestly get nervous reading this stuff cause I want everyone to be okay!

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Sherri,
      You are so sweet. I am hoping my post will help prevent any major issues from occurring. If we catch the lumps early, the prognosis is improved a lot.

      Reply

  6. Animalcouriers Says:

    Another fine article Rayya and a great resource. Look forward to the next one.

    Reply

  7. barb19 Says:

    Great post!
    Thank you for explaining the differences in the lumps and bumps our pets get – so much helpful information, Rayya.
    I’m going to re-blog this and put it on my FB page for pet owners. Looking forward to the sequel to this post.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Barb,

      Thank you so much for enjoying my post and sharing it on your page. I really appreciate it.
      Educating pet owners is all I care about. :-)

      Reply

  8. barb19 Says:

    Reblogged this on Passionate About Pets and commented:
    Watch out for the sequel to this post.

    Reply

  9. Paul Taylor Says:

    Absolutely great information to any pet owner.

    Reply

  10. Chancy and Mumsy (Mag) Says:

    Thank you so much Dr. Rayya for this valuable information. You are wonderful to share your knowledge with your followers. Bless you! Hugs and nose kisses from me and my sweeties!

    Reply

  11. honey Says:

    I found a lump on my dog (3 year old lab mix) last week. It was about 1 cm in diameter and very red/inflamed. The vet said it was a mast cell tumor and aspirated it to confirm this before scheduling surgery. However, the cytology report stated there were no mast cells, but a lot of inflammation and scattered sebaceous epithelial cells. It also said that the cellularity of the sample was low. Now, instead of doing surgery my vet put her on Clavamox for a week because now he is saying it might be an infection. After 2 days of antibiotics, the lump has shrunk and is no longer ulcerated, however it is still pink (it sort of looks like a bug bite now). I am wondering if we are being too conservative. I don’t want to put my dog under needlessly, but I also don’t want to “wait and see” when we could be dealing with a very aggressive cancer. My vet said that the absence of cancer cells on the aspirate was a very good sign, but from everything I have read, it doesn’t mean much. I know this is not a Q&A blog, I guess I’m just looking for more thoughts. This was a really useful post and I appreciate it.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. There is no black and white answer here. Your vet has done all the right things. He collected a fine needle aspirate and then started medications. The fact of the matter is the lump has shrunken. I think you should closely monitor the lump, measure it. If it is bothering your dog or flaring up again, then it should be biopsied/resected. I hope this information helps.

      Reply

  12. Donkey Whisperer Farm Says:

    Reblogged this on Donkey Whisperer Farm Blog and commented:
    Lump on pet

    Reply

  13. Donkey Whisperer Farm Says:

    My oldest doggie Jewel (9) just had five growths removed all were fatty except one a tiny one on her ear. We are watching this one to make sure it does NOT turn into cancer. Thank you for writing about this!

    Reply

  14. Marylin Warner Says:

    Last summer we had two benign fatty tumors removed from our dog. The one on the right side behind the right front leg was slightly smaller than a grapefruit and required a shunt for a week afterwards for draining. The one on the left side was much smaller but more painful as it was between two muscles. The surgery was expensive but successful. It took Maggie weeks to adjust (we didn’t put her in a cone but in one of my husband’s cotton tee-shirt with a Thunder Shirt over it to keep it in place–she looked like a girl in a parochial school uniform). It took months for her wonderful rich coat to grow in where she’d been shaved. We knew from the beginning the tumors were benign, but left to grow they would have made Maggie lame. She is a rescued dog, a mixture of many strong and beautiful breeds, and we’ve had her for 11 years. We would not sentence her to an inactive life. Now she runs in the mountains with us, along trails and in streams. It was worth the price, the surgery and healing time to give her this renewed chance.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Marylin. I really appreciate you sharing Maggie’s experience with us. Like you pointed out, some lumps simply have to be removed as they can impair your dog especially if they are around joints. Glad to hear she fully recovered and you thought it was all worth it.

      Reply

  15. Sand Spring Chesapeakes Says:

    Reblogged this on Sand Spring Chesapeakes and commented:
    Nice blog about lumps.

    Reply

  16. BellyRub.net Says:

    My first guide dog Luther was a big yellow lab and when he turned seven, he developed a lipoma just behind his left shoulder blade. Thing was freaken huge and I freaked out at first, obviously cause I did not know what the heck it was. You could clearly identify it just by looking at him, as it looked like a tennis ball, lol.
    Took him to his vet where he was biopsied and all came back clear.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      So sorry about the delayed response and thank you so much for sharing your own personal experience with a lump. Very insightful.
      Glad your Labrador only had a lipoma and hope it doesn’t grown any further.

      Reply

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  18. Dana Says:

    Thank you for your article. My 13 year old GSD has a lump that came up quickly by his tail. Our vet just did a smear in lieu of a FNA and told me it is just as good. He told me he saw angry cells and we set up a surgery. Needless to say, at the time I didn’t ask questions and accepted what he said but now I have doubts. Is a smear just as good as a FNA? Isn’t it better to know what your dealing with before surgery if possible? I think we should have a FNA done to know, and any other tests that may be helpful to get an idea of size ect. I don’t want to put my 13 year old GSD through a surgery if it isn’t necessary, or if it is to big of a surgery for him to recoup from if it is more then just a lump. Should I go see a Vet Oncologist? Thank you.

    Dana and Charro

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Dana,

      Thanks for contacting me. Effectively the content of a fine needle aspirate are turned into a smear to examine under the microscope. Your vet did the right thing.
      Fine needle aspirates aren’t always diagnostic and usually give you a rough guide on the next best step.
      A biopsy is more effective and should be sent in formalin to a pathologist. It can only be detected if your dog is sedated & the sample is collected under local anaesthetic.
      The other option is to just go forward and remove the lump with good margins and send it off to the pathologist.
      The debate is whether or not you want your dog to go through a sedation and then a full general anaesthetic OR just undergo one procedure.
      I highly recommend you go back to your current vet and discuss all your concerns and together you can decide what is best for your dog.
      I hope this information is helpful.
      Best of luck.

      Reply

      • Steve Harrison Says:

        Hi, my flat coated retriever Jasper is 6 yrs. About 8 months ago we noticed a small squishy lump in his neck, about as big as a pea, just under the skin. Showed it to the vet, who said v likely fatty lump, keep eye on it but not to worry. It has grown a little and he also has 2 more similar lumps now, one on his side and one a little lower down his neck. Again showed them to our vet who immediately suggested removal, but didnt offer an FNA. I decided to seek out a second opinion as i don’t want to put him under if possible. Second vet has done an FNA from all 3 lumps today. I saw him doing them and putting them on the slide, he commented that the samples looked a bit cloudy for fatty lumps. He has sent them away for analysis and now we must wait. He said fatty lumps FNAs are usually clear not cloudy, would you agree with that ?

      • Rayya Says:

        Hello Steve,

        In general they are clear but I have seen cloudy samples too. Your vet has done the right thing. If he/she wasn’t sure the lumps were fatty lumps, it is always best to send them to a vet pathologist for confirmation.
        I hope you are informed they are fatty lumps. :-)

  19. Stefanie H. Says:

    I found a little lump on my 6 month pug this weekend. It’s located where his chest meets his armpit. I think it is a bug bite, we went to his obedience lessons last Wednesday and I came home with a million bug bites all over my legs, so did my husband. Now I’m a little paranoid, the little lump it’s still there, it’s kinda hard, it gets bigger when we touch it. It doesn’t bother my dog and it’s not red either. I’m taking him to the vet in 2 hours. I was just wondering if a bug bite can create a little lump in a dog? It gets bigger when I touch it because it’s like a hive, when you scratch it get inflamed?

    Reply

  20. Rebecca Says:

    My chocolate lab has a soft ball size lump on his neck under his chin, it is really scary because he was in the house for a couple week cause it was to cold to be outside, when it warmed up we put him back out side for the week it was warm enough, then we decided to bring him back in and he had the softball sized knot/lump. I’m really worried :(

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Rebecca. Sounds like you need to book in your Labrador to the local vet asap. It could be many things and I can’t say much based on your history. He may just have an abscess and that requires treatment. Good luck

      Reply

  21. JG Says:

    My dog developed a small round lump under his left arm pit about 2 months ago. It developed suddenly, and has not changed in size or texture since. It is soft and moveable to the touch. Just today, I noticed a very hard little lump behind his right shoulder blade. Now I am worried. I have an appt at the vet on Monday but will be worried sick until then. Any words of advice?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear JG,

      Well done on booking your dog in for a vet check. Unfortunately, I can’t really give you much advise based on the history provided.
      It is definitely important to get both lumps checked out tomorrow.
      Goodluck

      Reply

  22. Sam Says:

    Our Chihuahua is 14 years old. A year ago he developed a lump over the right side of his head. We took him to the Vet. He told us a few things, one it would cost us between $1500.00 – $2000.00 to have it removed. Two, because of his age he may not make it through the procedure, also because he has breathing problems. Three, it will come back anyway. He has Arthritis and has a hard time breathing. We love him so much. Now the lump is starting to grow down and is getting close to covering his left eye. We feel like we are being selfish by keeping him going. The Vet told us he isn’t in any pain concerning the lump. I think we just need someone to help us decide, I know we are being selfish. We love him, and want to do what is best for him. He still loves to play, run around, chase his ball, play just as if he was a puppy, that is why it is so hard to decide.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Sam. Sorry to hear about your dog’s condition. You are obviously being guided by your vet. I personally always tell my clients, you will know when it’s time. If his quality of life is deteriorating (off food, not interested in playing, lump bursts or so forth), you will know it’s time. Enjoy the precious time you have left together.

      Reply

  23. fishwel Says:

    Hi Rayya, thank you so much for all this information. I am concerned about my 3 year old tonkinese girl Isis. When she was one and a half, she had a rabies shot (2nd time, she had already had one as a kitten) and had a severe anaphylactic shock. I haven’t had her re-vaccinated since and don’t intend to. But ever since that injection, she’s had a small lump next to her spine (the vet injected her in her lower back), which feels like a small fluid-filled sack of some sort. I initially thought it was an injection knot but it has never disappeared and I think it has grown ever so slightly now. My new vet says it is probably benign because it isn’t hard, but shouldn’t she have it tested? Do you think an injection knot could go straight from inflammation to cancerous tumour?

    Reply

    • fishwel Says:

      PS: What are your thoughts on over-vaccination? Ever since Isis’s terrible ordeal I have been reading up on duration of immunity and over-vaccination in animals and have come to the conclusion that we may be chronically over-vaccinating (and thus potentially poisoning) our pets! I have resolved to have Isis titer-tested from now on, and only vaccinated if she lacks the proper amount of antibodies. Shouldn’t we all be doing this rather than vaccinating our pets yearly? Here in France vets still vaccinate their pets on a yearly basis. I’d be very grateful for your insights on this! Thank you so much in advance and well done for sharing your passion with the world!

      Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello

      Thanks for your good feedback on my post.
      Sorry to hear about your cat’s severe anaphylactic reaction to her rabies vaccination.
      With regards to the lump she developed after that, it could definitely be cancerous. I am not sure if rabies vaccinations have been proven to do that. However, in Australia, FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) or FeLV (Feline leukaemia virus) have been proven to cause sarcomas (a type of soft tissue cancer) and so we recommend they are injected into the extremities (leg) as this will allow us to resect the tumour via an amputation if required.
      I don’t want to frighten you with the above information and this may be different with rabies vaccinations. Generally I always recommend a fine needle aspirate is performed on any lump. This means collecting a sample via a needle and examining the sample under the microscope or sending it off to a pathologist. Some lumps don’t aspirate well (sacromas are one of them) and so this could lead to a misdiagnosis. If the lump has been the same size and not bothering your cat for a long time, generally it means it isn’t aggressive but that is not always the case. I think it is important to have a chat to your vet and request the lump is investigated appropriately either with a fine needle aspirate or a punch biopsy or even getting it resected and then sending off the sample to a pathologist.

      As for your other question about vaccinations, there is a growing concern about over vaccinating in Australia. We have definitely cut back and now recommend kittens get their first two vaccination boosters one month apart, then a repeat in a year then triannaul (every three years). In Australia, we are fortunately rabies free so I can’t really tell you if that applies to rabies. We offer FIV & FeLV vaccinations but uncommonly. If your cat is predominantly indoors and doesn’t live in a household crowded with cats, we don’t see the virtue of vaccinating against FIV & FeLV. The biggest concern for most vets in this debate about where or not we are over vaccinating is the concern that clients will forgo bringing their pets for their annual health checks which are highly recommended to ensure your pet is in peak health.
      At our clinic, we do run titres to check our patient’s immunity and that guides us as to whether or not they require a booster.

      Hope this information helps.
      Please let me know you go.

      Reply

      • fishwel Says:

        Thank you so much for your time and generous reply, I am going to have Isis’s lump investigated the way you suggest. The thing that upsets me is that it is so close to her spine :(. I will keep you informed. I also adhere to (and will spread) your take on vaccination protocols and am glad to see that Australian vets are re-thinking their practices, you should talk to your French colleagues! Many thanks once again, your help is truly appreciated.

      • Rayya Says:

        You are most welcome. Isis is very lucky to have a very loving and dedicated owner like yourself. Goodluck.

  24. Kevin Says:

    I have an 10.5 year old lab that has literally a basketball sized, rock hard lump on his left shoulder. We noticed it when it was about a tennis ball size or smaller lump. Our vet tried to aspartate it, but couldn’t get anything out of it. Due to his age, the vet recommended not putting him under Anastesia. We took his advice and returned a few months later as it continued to grow rapidly. He stated Shadow would probably live a total of 6-8 months from the initial visit. It’s been 10 months. Shadow lost about 35 lbs and now is about 90lbs. He is 30″ tall. He has slowed drastically but rimadyl has helped. We feel it is too late to try and remove it, but have been second guessing ourselves the whole time, not wanting to lose him any sooner than need be (not surviving surgery) but wandering if its removal would give us a couple more years with him. What would your recommendation be?

    Thank you

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Kevin,

      Sorry to hear about Shadow’s large lump. I think you have done all the right things by taking him to the vet quite regularly to address the lump.
      Personally, I would have addressed the matter quite differently to your vet if Shadow presented to me. If the lump didn’t aspirate well, I would have suggested collecting a punch biopsy under mild sedation & local anaesthetic to determine the type of lump. As the lump continued to grow, that would have indicated it is important to biopsy it sooner rather than later.
      Given your dog’s current situation, I would still recommend biopsying the lump under light sedation & local anaesthetic so that you know exactly what you are dealing with. Histopathology will tell you if it is a very aggressive tumour or if it is benign. If it turns out to be one of the less aggressive type of tumours, I would then recommend full blood work to check that your dog’s kidney and liver function are okay to withstand a general anaesthetic. We have sometimes proceeded with palliative surgery to reduce the size of the lump especially if it compromising the patient’s mobility. On other occasions, some lumps are benign and can be fully surgically removed. It boils down to the biopsy results coupled with the blood work. Chest xrays may also be indicated if it is an aggressive tumour to determine if it has spread to the lungs. In that case, unfortunately you can only manage him with palliative medications and he will require more than just rimadyl. He will need stronger pain killers like tramadol or an opiate (morhpine) or etc.
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know how Shadow goes. Best of luck.

      Reply

      • Kevin Says:

        Thank you so much Rayya! I wish I found your website 10 months ago! We have already decided that we will no longer use this vet as other than yearly check ups, he hasn’t impressed us. We do have a very good animal hospital in Fairfield, NJ that we will bring Shadow to, although pricey. (Spent $6000 on a hip replacement for our mastiff-actual surgery done in tinton falls). Our vet never mentioned a local anesthetic for the biopsy and stupid me should have thought about that rather than the complete “knockout”. We had a friend whose 8 year old GDane had a heart attack the day after stomach surgery to remove a lodged carrot, so that was our main concern with Shadow. Thank you again Rayya for your advice and being there for us pet owners!!

        Ps- his breathing doesn’t seem labored at all, hopefully a good sign.

      • Rayya Says:

        Dear Kevin,

        I am glad I could be of help. You are most welcome.
        Good to hear Shadow isn’t suffering from any labored breathing.

        Please do up date me on how he gets on. Best of luck.

  25. Sam Says:

    I just discovered a small lump on my cats neck right under his jawline. I’m thinking it’s either a lymph node or his salivary gland. It is moveable and doesn’t seem to bother him when I was touching it. I am praying that it is from an infection as he has been a little bit sneezy, and my other thought was maybe my other cat scratched him when they were playing (they play bite each other’s necks which I always yell at them for). He is 3 years old and was born with FIV. I am freaking out because I have to wait until Monday to try to get an appointment seeing as they are closed tomorrow. I’m so nervous. He just had a checkup in early January and was fine then.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Sam,
      Sorry to hear about your cat’s lump. If he is becoming unwell and off his food, I would contact the vets sooner. You can reach a vet afterhours for urgent cases.
      FIV compromises his immune system and the sooner you address his illness, the better.
      However, if he is eating and drinking well, has no signs of drooling, and doesn’t have a fever and the lump isn’t growing excessively, you can hold off until Tuesday.
      My recommendation is you call the afterhours vet and discuss your concerns and you can jointly decide if he needs to be sooner then Tuesday. Goodluck.

      Reply

      • Sam Says:

        He is acting 100% normal, eating playing, washing, etc. He has no fever and I’ve only seen him drool maybe twice in his life and that was during petting sessions. This morning I went to get a better look since when I found it last night he was laying down on his side asleep and I checked his whole face/neck area on both sides and now I can’t find it and don’t feel anything. He is still going to the vet regardless. Also I checked his other lymph node areas and behind his knees and up a little bit he has a fatty lump feeling behind them. I checked my other cat as comparison and he has that same feeling on his but a lot smaller so I’m so nervous I just want to take him now. He also has something called luxating patella so I don’t know if that is just how his legs are suppose to feel or what. Now I’m getting concerned after feeling his legs. Praying he will be fine and it’s a false alarm! He is too young for all this :(

  26. domna Says:

    My 2 year old has a solid lump the size of a tennis ball the vet has taken to fine needle biopsies and said he can not see any signs of cancer ! And to leave it another 4 weeks till he will do a biopsy!!! I am going out my mind with worry oh the lump is just under his rib

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Domna. Sorry to hear about your dog’s lump. If you are super concerned then get your vet to biopsy the lump immediately. You don’t have to wait for four weeks. The sooner you get a definitive diagnosis, the better. If it’s benign, it’ll give you relief and avoid you worrying for four weeks. If it isn’t benign, you are able to discuss all available treatment options and get started asap. Good luck.

      Reply

      • Donna Says:

        Thankyou for replying and im going to take your advice he has started to be sick and has diahorear now so i know i can not leave it any longer

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