Oh No, I discovered a lump on my pet! Part II

lump

Last time, I discussed three very common lumps I come across in my canine patients. There are a myriad of lumps and bumps that can affect your pets and I simply can’t cover all of them. I do, however, want to shed some light on a few other prevalent lumps and just equip you with an appropriate strategy to tackle any lump your pet may develop.

I must warn you, there will be lots of graphic pictures included in this post!

Epidermal Cysts:

These are generally secondary to a malformation of the hair follicle or as I like to refer to it as a blogged up hair follicle or pore. They lead to hard oval shaped lumps under the skin. They are usually not painful. However, if they grow too rapidly, they can burst and develop secondary infection and irritate your pet. A fine needle aspirate usually yields a very thick yellowish material (sebum: oily secretion produced by sebaceous gland) and examination under the microscope will allow for a definitive diagnosis.

It is best to leave them alone and monitor them.If they start bothering your pet, then they should be surgically removed.

I have sometimes incised them under local anesthetic to express their content and chemically cauterize their inner lining. However, I always put these patients on a course of antibiotics and explain to their owners that this is only a band aid solution as they will most likely recur if they are not surgically removed.

They can often look like this and mostly occur around the head, chest or back of your pet.

Cyst on cat head

Soft tissue sarcomas:

These lumps can arise from cartilage, nerves, fat or even vessels. They usually feel quite solid and appear to have a very distinct capsule.

Unfortunately this type of tumor doesn’t aspirate well and so fine needle aspirates will often give us misleading results.

For example, this is a fine needle aspirate from a hard lump that grew suddenly on Chloe. At the time, I didn’t know it was a sarcoma based on this slide. However, I recommended removal of the lump either way due to its rapid growth.

Chloe

As you can observe below, this is Chloe’s fine needle aspirate and there are very few cells in it. You can mostly see lots of background matrix and clear fat droplets.

Fna of hard soft copy tissue lump
Fna of hard soft copy tissue lump
Therefore, it is important to understand that the best means to confirm the diagnosis of a sarcoma is to get a biopsy sample. Generally, if they are small enough, the best approach is to resect them with a good margin and send them off for histopathology. The pathologists can then confirm the diagnosis, grade the sarcoma and tell us if it has been completely removed.

The grading of this type of tumor is essential as a lower grade sarcoma has a better prognosis than a higher grade one.

High grade sarcomas have a potential to metastasize (spread) and surgical excision alone may not be curative. Some patients may require radiation or chemotherapy treatment.

The catch 22 is that if you don’t completely excise a sarcoma even a low grade one, then there is a very high risk the tumor will return with a vengeance. Thankfully, in my personal experience, I have had two occasions where a clean margin was very difficult to achieve purely due the location of the lump. One was in a terrier cross.

Victoria suddenly developed a very large lump on the bottom of her front paw. I removed it without any huge margins as that would have involved major reconstruction surgery or having an open wound. Her results came back saying she had a sarcoma with dirty margins; tumor cells were seen on the margins of the lump submitted. Her owners simply couldn’t afford repeat surgery or referral. Fortunately, these clients were my neighbors and I personally followed up on this case and was thrilled to see that the lump never returned!

It was quite a challenge to keep Victoria still. :-)

Victoria

Victoria’s forelimb tumor. I hope you can appreciate how hard it would be to remove this lump with good margins.

Victoria

Micky, a geriatric cat, also developed a sudden growth on the base of his tail. I couldn’t take deep margins as that would have involved a tail amputation. His results also came back indicating it was a low grade sarcoma that was incompletely resected. Fortunately the tumor didn’t come back.

Micky two weeks after surgery. He was feeling pretty good.

Mike post op

Polly 12 year old Shi Tzu cross had a slowly growing lump in her right axillary region. It was again a very difficult area. Results came back indicating it was a grade 1-2 sarcoma with no clear margins. The owner opted to go to a specialist and he took very large margins and he completely resected the tumor. She has recovered very well.

Polly

Haemangiosarcomas:

For those pets that love to sun-bake and don’t have much fur or have a white coat, they are very prone to developing ‘haemangiosarcomas’.

This type of tumor is highly aggressive and can spread to the internal organs if not immediately surgically removed.

This type of tumor resembles the ‘malignant melanoma’ that occurs in humans due to high exposure to UV light. In pets, it usually affects the fur-less areas like the mouth, eyes, nasal planum, abdomen and genitals. Protect your pet with a registered sunscreen product or a summer coat.

Milly was an indoor and outdoor cat that suddenly developed a nasal swelling/lump. We froze the haemangiosarcoma which bought her some time but it returned and sadly we lost the battle.

Milly

A pet ewe (female sheep) with a haemangiosarcoma lesion affecting her vulva.

Sheep with vulvular lesion

Suspect haemangiosarcoma lumps around the prepuce in a white horse.

Horse prepuce

Abscesses:

Currently, we are seeing lots of dogs with abscesses secondary to grass seeds. However, an abscess can form secondary to any puncture wounds, bite marks or even blunt trauma. Cats are infamous for getting cat fight abscesses around the head or base of their tail. Abscesses can occur anywhere on the body, around the neck, chest and abdomen, even thighs, around the base of the tail and within the paws.

You must immediately attend to your pet if you notice any suspicious lump and get your local veterinarian to have a look.

Your pets can often spike a fever and are quite painful and may even go off their food. They often require a general anesthetic  surgical drainage of the lump and a probe to see if a foreign body can be found. It is important to note that were there is suspicions it is a grass seed abscess, there is no guarantee that we will find the offending foreign body!

For thick coated pets or those with very furry paws, I highly recommend you book them in with your local groomer for a summer clip. This reduces the risk of your pet getting grass seeds and helps you spot them faster. An added bonus to the summer clip is your pet will cope much better with the heat!

Abscess under the neck.

Chillie

Abscess around the prepuce of a working dog. Most likely secondary to blunt trauma from a ram jamming into him.

haematom in prepuce

udi preputial abscess

Aural haematomas:

I often get clients booking in their dog’s with aural haematomas for lump checks. They actually don’t have a lump per say but instead a fat ear pinnae filled with blood. This usually develops when your pet is constantly shaking its head and suddenly a blood vessel in his/her ear ruptures  and the ear pinnae fills up with blood. This often affects dogs more than any other species but cats can also get this. Again grass seeds down your dog’s ears can trigger the head shaking. However, any type of ear infection or ear mite infestation may also lead to this. The key is attending to your dog’s head shaking as soon as possible.

The longer you ignore your dog’s head shaking, the higher the risk of this condition developing.

Book them in straight away to see your local veterinarian so they can determine the cause of the shaking and offer appropriate treatment and hopefully prevent this from occurring.

I think that’s enough lumps for one day. However, I would like to end my post with some very important recommendations:

1. Be aware, lumps can occur anywhere on your pet’s body and you should even look into their mouths especially if they suddenly develop a smelly breath.

Very aggressive oral tumor in a dog.

Canine oral tumour

2. Best to investigate your pet’s lump while it is small. It is easier to completely excise, cheaper vet expense-wise and you lower the risk of it spreading to other areas if is an aggressive tumor.

Bonnie suddenly developed this very itchy lump under her jaw. My colleague has started investigating it.

Bonnie's lump

Piper suddenly developed this growth on his pad. I biopsied it & discovered it was benign.

Piper's digital pad lump

This is my own baby ‘Shepo’. He alerted us to the lump on his stump as it was very irritating. My colleague resected it and thankfully it was benign.

Lump on stump

Wichety, a Sharpei, suddenly developed this inflammatory lump. Her owners immediately addressed it and it actually responded to medications alone and completely went away!

Wichety

‘Precious’ quickly developed this lump over her head. Her owner didn’t immediately address it as it seemed quite small. Suddenly it grew more and when she brought her in, it was too late to be able to completely resect it. It was a very aggressive osteosarcoma.

Precious

Precious

3. Lumps can affect all species and can occur anywhere on the body. Make sure you inspect your pets regularly for any odd lumps.

Cow with a swelling on its inner thigh. I probed it as I was concerned it was a migrating foreign body.

Lump in cow

Ewe (female sheep) with an abdominal swelling. We anesthetized her and discovered this was a hernia.

abdominal lump in sheep

Sophira’s eye lump.

Sophira

Valvular lump in a very old dog. I desexed her and resected the lump and luckily she fully recovered.

vaginal prolapse

4. If you leave a lump to grow too big on your pet, there is a huge chance it will burst. I strongly advise you to avoid this scenario.

This geriatric Labrador was in a really bad way when she arrived at the clinic. Her fatty lump had burst and was so infected.

Labrador lump

Labrador lump

Labrador lump

Thankfully my colleague was able to resect the lump and close up her wound. She recovered really well.

Labrador lump

5. Not every pet is going to be as lucky as the Labrador above. If you leave some lumps to grow too big, it is sometimes too late or impossible to remove them.

This geriatric terrier reached the point where he couldn’t defecate. His owners opted to put him down at this point. I was saddened to see he was left until he reached that point.

Perianal tumour

Perianal tumour

Sophira was 8 years old and very much loved. Her owners had brought her in earlier when the lump was much smaller. They were petrified about losing her under general anesthetic so they kept monitoring the lump. It reached this size and they decided it had to be removed. Unfortunately surgery didn’t go well as it was quite challenging to close the wound and  she didn’t survive the anesthetic. Very sad outcome.

Sophira

Sooty came to me 6 months ago and she had a small mammary tumor. It suddenly progressed and grew very quickly. We collected at biopsy and unfortunately we got inconclusive results and weren’t sure what we were dealing with at that stage.

Sooty

Sooty

Sooty

We proceeded with a palliative surgery as she was quite uncomfortable from the weight of the lump. Unfortunately during the surgery, I discovered the entire abdominal wall was involved with the tumor and her abdominal organs were exposed.

She would have required major reconstruction surgery to close her wounds and there was a high risk of herniation.  After speaking to her owners during the surgery, we had to put her down while she was still under general anesthetic. Absolutely heart wrenching outcome that may have been avoided.

Sooty

6. Don’t assume the lump will outlive your dog. I often get owners thinking their dogs are too old to undergo surgery. They often don’t realize they are compromising their pet’s well being when they don’t address the lump.

Monty is a very old border collie that developed a very massive fatty lump. He was starting to really struggle to move around and so the owners decided they simply couldn’t put off this surgery any longer.

Monty's massive lump
Monty's massive lump

Monty's massive lump

He felt like a brand new man after the lump was resected. It would have been far cheaper and a much short anesthetic if the lump was removed when it was smaller.

Monty's massive lump

Jackson developed this lump over 1.5 months. His owners were quite concerned it was going to rupture and so in spite of cost constraints, they went ahead with the surgery.

Jackson

Jackson
He recovered brilliantly and we found out it was only a fatty lump. His owners are thrilled with the outcome.

Jackson
Jackson

Sorry for overwhelming you with so many gory pictures in this post but I hope it got the main message across.

I bet you are all feeling quite lumped out right now. Please fire away any questions you may have.

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About Rayya

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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83 Comments on “Oh No, I discovered a lump on my pet! Part II”

  1. wordsfromanneli Says:

    WHY do pet owners wait so long?! That’s so cruel. Then you’re expected to perform miracles and save the poor animals. I’m thankful that you do, but I’m sure there are times when you just can’t save them. Poor things!

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Sorry about the delayed response. Some owners really don’t mean to be cruel. They just don’t know any better, others don’t know how to deal with and many are terrified of the costs involved & refrain as they don’t have the means.
      Unfortunately, most of them don’t realise it will be so much more expensive if left unattended.
      Thanks for always being open with your comments and viewing things from the animal perspective (more people need to do that).

      Reply

  2. boyd hore Says:

    Thank you , that was once again very informative . Shame about the poor animals that did not make it , just goes to show it’s not wise to waste time in these matters .

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Boyd.
      Sorry about the very late response.
      I agree, time is crucial in many of these cases and acting fast is mostly the better choice.

      Reply

  3. barb19 Says:

    This is a good lesson for pet owners, Rayya – see a vet as soon as a lump appears and get it checked out. Better safe than sorry.
    Thanks again for a very informative post.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Barb,
      Sorry for the very late response.
      I do home the take home message resonated for all readers and that they will approach lumps in their pets better.
      So how’s your old doggie? Did you end up booking her in for a dental? Fire away any more questions or reservations about it that you may have :-)

      Reply

      • barb19 Says:

        My vet said Poppy needs to have her teeth cleaned, but due to her old age (she is 14), putting her under anesthetic concerns me greatly. My vet has tried to re-assure me, but I’m still not sure. She’s a tiny shih-tzu and only weighs 6kg.

      • Rayya Says:

        Hey Barb. I can totally understand your hesitation. However, her dental disease will be causing her pain and can lead to serious infections. I often see geriatric dogs with kidney failure secondary to dental disease. Best to weigh up the pros and cons of a dental.

  4. Long Life Cats and Dogs Says:

    Such vital and good information. Thank you. I really do admire the fact that you can deal with all this and share your knowledge so freely. I must admit to being somewhat of a complete sissy when it comes to the blood and guts side of things :)

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello and so sorry about the very late response.
      Thank you for your awesome feedback and appreciating my efforts at spreading pet education.
      I can totally understand you not stomaching all the pictures. I have been there myself.

      Reply

  5. Animalcouriers Says:

    Superb post. Quite shocking how long some people can prevaricate before taking action.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello and so sorry about my very late reply
      I have seen many more shocking looking lumps that I don’t have pictures off. Some pet owners just don’t know any better and I sure hope this post helps them in their future decisions.

      Reply

  6. Chancy and Mumsy Says:

    Wow, some of those lumps were huge. Thank you for yet another great post filled with lots of much needed information and advice. Bless you for all you do to save those sweeties that are brought to you. Hugs and nose kisses from me and my sweeties.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Chancy,
      Thank you for your ongoing and amazing support.
      I really appreciate it.
      I agree, some of those lumps were just MASSIVE.
      Lots of hugs

      Reply

  7. Donkey Whisperer Farm Says:

    Oh my these are some difficult photos to look at but necessary. Each owner must take responsibility or pets. So sad the owners waited to long…. GOD bless you for sharing and educating people on preventative care, take your animal in as quickly as possible when you get a lump. My dog Jewel is all healed up now after her lumps (fatty tissue) were removed and her hair is growing back. Nice no scars to be seen by summer unlike the human body. :)

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Melody,
      I am so sorry about my belated response.
      Thank you for your comment. They were pretty graphic photographs.
      So glad Jewel full recovered and her scars were be completely hidden. :-)
      I have a new neighbor that I adore, it’s the cutest donkey ever <3

      Reply

  8. barb19 Says:

    Reblogged this on Passionate About Pets and commented:
    This is the sequel to Dr Rayya’s recent post “Oh no, I discovered a lump on my pet Part 1″. WARNING: Some of the photos are a bit gory.

    Reply

  9. Donna Says:

    Thanks for sharing this Barb. As an owner of two lumpy dogs that have had everything from Hystiocytomas, Mast Cell Tumors, Lipomas, to Sebaceous Cysts – I can’t stress enough how important it is to have lumps checked early on by your vet.

    Reply

  10. mickcgorman Says:

    We took our Golden Retriever, Luca, to the vet straight away when a small lump showed on his head but nothing could be done. He had “Osteosarcoma” in the front of his skull. He lived 10 months and we enjoyed every minute with him.
    Thank you for a great article.

    Reply

  11. fozziemum Says:

    Great advice,i found a lump on Forrest and had him to our vet the next day,our regular vet was away and the locum had him booked in for surgery the next day,when we bought Forrest in our vet was back ,he re checked and said no operation was needed and explained fatty cysts to us.I was relieved that Forrest was not operated on and relieved about the lump.We check regularly for changes.Doc also had a lump that appeared overnight,this time our vet was worried and he was in for surgery the next day,it was a very deeply implanted grass seed that had travelled under his armpit,he had a large scar but it was worth the good news that it was not cancer.My point is,you cannot assume what is going on,i treat any health issue as if it was my own or any other family member.Sometimes we don’t want to know,but ignoring the problem is to me not an option, we owe our pets to be vigilant.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Bev. Thank you so much for sharing your own experience with us. You are absolutely right, your pets count on you to look after them.

      Reply

  12. Christi Says:

    Thanks for the information Dr. Rayya. I have a shihtzu/maltese mix. She is 4 years old. A few months ago we noticed a lump on the back side of her neck (what we see when looking down at her). The lump has grown significantly over the last few months. However, there have been times when we thought that it had shrunk only to feel large again. I’m not sure if that is our imagination or what?? Anyway, it also feels irregular. When she went for her annual visit a week ago, the vet suggested that we do surgery to remove it. I definitely think it needs to be examined but the vet did not suggest a needle biopsy first. I didn’t think to ask if it was an option at the time of the visit. Do you know of any reason why this would not be the first plan of treatment?? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Christi,

      Well done on getting your dog’s lump checked out. The fact that it keeps getting bigger then shrinking indicates it is most likely a cyst. However, it is best to remove it surgically and get it sent off for histopathology to get a definitive diagnosis.
      I generally perform fine needle samples on most lumps unless they are just too small to get a proper sample from. I always offer to do that but explain to my clients that I may not got a diagnostic sample.
      Some veterinarians do not have much experience with collecting fine needle aspirates or being able to interpret the results under a microscope and so they don’t offer that option.
      I think it is great that your veterinarian is giving you a viable option in offering to remove it. I would request the sample is sent off for histopathology so you can get a diagnosis.
      I hope my answer has answered your questions.
      Best of luck. Please do update me on how your doggie goes :-).
      Take care.

      Reply

  13. Jasmine-Leah Says:

    Hi,I came across this site when looking up info about a lump I found on my dogs paw. It’s small and red and he licks it when you pay it any attention. ( Not sure how much he’s licking it when I’m not around). He’s not limping and it doesn’t seem to be affecting him in anyway? But reading this post about lumps has got me worried!

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Jasmine,
      You should definitely get your dog’s lump checked out by your local veterinarian. Not just for peace of mind but also to make sure it isn’t something that requires treatment or surgery.
      Goodluck.

      Reply

  14. Jessica Says:

    My dog Ace is a ten year old pit bill mix I rescued from the pound when he was 6 months old. He suddenly has three hard lumps on the tip of his penis, he is licking and the hair is falling out around the lumps. He also has other bumps all over his body that I’ve talked to the vet about, but they haven’t said anything about them. I’m taking him to the vet in the morning and I will post an update on his condition.

    Reply

  15. chrissy Says:

    This is a great post and I can’t believe the size of some of those tumors! I was just wondering if I could get an idea of how long it is okay to watch a bump for. I have the opposite problem of some of the people you referenced in this article (who wait a long time to have things checked out), and I think my vet thinks I’m a little nuts. I go in *as soon* as I find anything (same day or next day…occasionally I will wait 1-2 days), and this summer I ended up going in twice for bug bites (not infected/inflamed, just bites I was afraid were mast cell tumors or something sinister). My dog is fairly young (approximately 4 years old) and is generally healthy and in very good physical shape. I’m just hoping to find out if there is a time frame that you would recommend watching a bump to see if it goes away (one that isn’t bleeding or changing size overnight) before going to the vet. A few days? A week? Any input would be appreciated. And again, this is assuming the bump does not actually look sinister and is not bothering my dog – I know in either of those cases she would need to be seen ASAP.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Chrissy,
      Many apologies for the delayed reply.
      I think it is great that you are attentive to your dog and immediately notice any new lumps. I don’t think there is a safe guideline on how long to wait for a lump to be checked. The sooner you get your vet involved, the better.
      Some lumps can look benign but aren’t!
      The trick is observation, finding them, monitoring them and getting your vet involved immediately. Your vet should always offer you to do cytology (collect a fine needle aspirate from the lump in question and examine it under the microscope). Unfortunately not all fine needle aspirates performed collect enough cells (some lumps don’t aspirate well) and so for those, you need to watch them closely or remove them if they are growing rapidly.
      I hope this information helps.
      Cheers,
      Rayya

      Reply

  16. andrew Says:

    Hello we took our 8 yr pitbull to vet today he has a hard lump in skin oval shaped size of about 3 in long but not hanging more flat it wasnt there 3days ago the vet gave us cephalexin 500 and thought it was a infected cyst the lump is on his bellyside and is bleeding thick blood stringy I just wanted your opinion on this please get back to me

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Andrew,

      Is your pitbull bothered with the lump? Has the lump shrunken since the cephalexin course was started?
      You should ask your vet to collect a fine needle aspirate directly from the lump to fully assess under the microscope. Some lumps don’t aspirate well but some do. It is important to know exactly what you are dealing with.
      Some cysts do get infected but it is easy to assume it is a cyst when it may not be! Without cytology or a biopsy collection, you can’t be 100% sure of the type of lump.
      I hope this information helps.
      Please let me know how it goes.

      Reply

  17. Jackie Lavielle Says:

    My 10yrs old femel dog has a big lower abdominal mass I took her to the vet but it was to much money to removed it. Thanks

    Reply

  18. kameron Says:

    I found 2 BB sized hard lumps on my dogs snout below her eye one on each side of her snout I can move them almost an inch around and I doesn’t hurt her she plays fine and Eats and acts normal she’s about 10 months old. Have you ever seen this and should I be worried?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      You should get the lumps checked out by your vet. I can’t really comment on what they are as I haven’t seen them and the description you gave isn’t enough. Always best to get a vet to examine your dog and tell you if these lumps need further investigation. Good luck.

      Reply

  19. samantha Webb Says:

    my dog has a large lump on her front leg just under the armpit. if vets were’nt so expensive I’d have it checked out!

    Reply

  20. marisa martinez Says:

    Thank you for sharing all this information. I have a 13 year old Chihuahua that I adopted 6 months ago. She developed a lump and swelling on her neck about a month after I adopted her. I have had all kinds of testing and biopsies done and still have no answer as to what it is. We tested for cancer and the results came back negative. The swelling goes up, we give her antibiotics, the swelling goes down, but the lumps don’t go away. As soon as I finish the antibiotics, the swelling returns. Now she has developed a new lump in the front of her neck, her throat. She has not had a lump there before. These lumps are small, about the size of a small grape or a bit smaller at their smallest. When there is swelling, they do swell to the size of half of a small orange. Is there anyway I can send you her test results via email and you tell me what you think it may be? Or tell me what I haven’t tested for that I may need to test for?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Marisa,

      I am so sorry to hear about all that your chinhuahua has been through.
      She wounds like a very interesting case.
      Please do email me her full medical history including biopsy results. You can get your vets to give you all the medical history to email me.

      If you can’t take pictures of all the lumps she currently has, that would also be very helpful.

      I can then hopefully give you some advise based on that.
      My email is followup@rayyathevet.com

      I look forward to receiving all the history and pictures.

      Cheers,
      Rayya

      Reply

  21. Karen D Says:

    Thank you for these two articles. I’ve had to google about lumps after finding the second lump on my 10 month old scottie’s back. The first came right after he was microchipped. The lump was right at the microchip site, under the
    skin and within a couple weeks it was the size of a Ping pong ball. Since the lump didn’t seem to bother him, it was treated with antibiotics, which reduced it a little but only temporarily. After an inconclusive needle aspiration, it was excised, along with the chip. The incision didn’t heal well and required another excision to remove infection. Since then, it’s healed nicely but now another has formed over the top corner of his shoulder blade. He was microchipped at about 6 months old and now has this new one. Isn’t he a little young to get recurring lipomas?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Karen

      Boy have you had an ordeal with your puppy.
      The history of your pooch sounds very odd.
      Did they send the lump off that was excised with the microchip for histopathology? I would have definitely done that given his history.
      With the new lumps he developed, have they been biopsies or fine needle aspirates collected?
      It is definitely odd for a young dog to develop lipomas.

      If you would like me to give you better advise, then email me his full medical history including pathology reports if available and send me pictures of his current lumps.

      My email is followup@rayyathevet.com

      Cheers,
      Rayya

      Reply

  22. Tess Says:

    I have a 22 year old cat with a lump on his head. He scratched it so it broke and some white stuff came out. It didnt smell anything. Now it looks like there is a circle of fat around with a pretty deep hole in the middle. It seems to have trouble healing. I want to take him to the vet but my mom is being reluctant cause of his age, shes scared he wouldnt survive being sedated. He hasnt shown any discomfort or pain from this but im worried and not sure what to do, any advice at all? Would love some.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Tess.
      That is so amazing that you have a 22 year old cat. :-). Sorry to hear about the lump on his head.
      Given his age, it is crucial to get him checked out by a vet as he may need antibiotics. They don’t have to sedate him to biopsy the lump. It all depends on what they think is going on. We tend to try to do certain procedures under local anaesthetic if the patient is too old, the question is will your cat be cooperative. I really highly recommend you take you much loved cat to a vet you trust and can openly communicate all your concerns. Hope this helps. Tell me how you go :-)

      Reply

  23. Monica S. Says:

    I found the article very informative. I just recently lost my cat 14 hours after his surgery to remove a large lump near his groin area. Strange thing is that a week and a half before discovering it, there was no lump. Once opened, it was filled with blood. The vet figured a capsule burst and that’s why the lump wasn’t there prior. Any idea what type of cancer this would have been? I have never heard of a sac filled with blood over the cancerous tissue. I didn’t bother paying for the pathology since kitty passed away. I also don’t understand why he passed away since he was just under 8 yrs of age. He lost quite a bit of blood and ended up hypothermic with high respiration, but they did have heating pads on and under him, raising his temperature to 36 celcius. This just happened 3 days ago, so I’m still in shock. Any information you could provide will be very helpful in understanding this.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Monica. I am so sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your cat. I really can’t tell you what type of cancer your cat may have had based on your history. Vascular tumours include haemangiosarcomas and they can be quite aggressive. Did your cat get blood tested prior to the surgery? Other possibilities are a clotting problem either an immune mediated condition like immune mediated thrombocytopaenia or ratsak poisoning. I highly recommend you discuss all your questions directly with your vet and hopefully they can give you more answers. Again I’m so sorry about your loss. :-(

      Reply

      • Monica S. Says:

        Thank you for your reply. I was just trying to get some insight outside the clinic. I’ve began reading up on different types of cancers, and what you mentioned (haemagiosarcoma), does sound the closest to what was going on and what I had seen during his surgery. Now, is it normal for cats to be asymptomatic? The cat had no typical symptoms of cancer, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, etc. Unless it had something to do with the fact that he was a purebred Bengal – crazy energy, ate like a pig, etc. I’m just trying to see if there could have been a sign I missed.

      • Rayya Says:

        Hey Monica,

        Cats can display very variable responses with cancers. Some don’t go off their food until the cancer is widely spread, some get ill immediately. So it is very subjective. Sorry but based on all you have told me, we are grasping at straws in trying to really determine what may have occurred.
        It is simply tragic to lose your gorgeous Bengal at such a young age.
        We generally offer post mortems to clients if something went really wrong and we don’t know what. It is best conducted by a different vet clinic or pathologist to prevent any bias. I hope you were offered that.

      • Monica S. Says:

        I forgot to mention that there was no lab work done. He was supposed to have a CBC, but for some reason it was not done prior to the surgery. But due to blood loss, he became anemic. I believe it was the PCV that was down to 17, but there was no transfusion done. And no chance of poisoning since he only had access to the entire top floor (all bedrooms), and half the second floor (living room).

  24. Kathy Says:

    I just noticed a lump on my 2 year old dog between her shoulder blades. The vet scanned it and it’s in the area of the microchip. He said that they have been known to sometimes cause scar tissue, inflammation and “maybe even cancer”. Of course i googled it and there were a few horror stories about microchips and cancer and just as many if not more stories about how those are actually extremely rare if not incorrectly tied together.

    My vet wants to X-ray the site first. THEN, i assume based on that he will know whether to removed it. My concern is the cost and whether he is following the most cost effective but safe option. Does he really have to do a $200+ X-ray ? I honestly am not even sure if i will be able to afford surgery alone, should it come to that, let alone an X-ray AND surgery. Could he do a needle aspiration to check of cancerous cells and leave it alone altogether if that comes out fine? If thats not possible for some reason could he just skip the X-ray and just take the thing out? I love my dog and am so worried and would love to go through every possibly protocol if i could afford it, but i can’t.

    I also am curious if it’s ever possible to simply ask the vet for a discount? I had an 18 year old dog that died in 2012, he was her vet for 16 years and in that time i am guessing i paid him $10,000 US, and it just happens this is all coming at a bad time, wondering if it would be wrong to point out how much business he has gotten from me and wondering if he could take mercy this one time?

    Thank you

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Kathy,

      Firstly, sorry to hear about your dog’s lump and I can understand the stress it has caused you given your financial situation.

      In all honesty, I feel you should be directing all your questions to your vet as he is the one treating your dog. Your questions are very fair and so you should not have to seek another vet’s opinion to help you make your decision.

      Xray sounds like the least invasive procedure that will show whether or not the microchip is involved or not. It is still not going to be 100% conclusive and you may still require either a fine needle aspirate being collected or surgical removal of the lump in question. So again, please talk to your vet and make an informed decision together about what is the best next step for your dog.

      As to whether or not you can ask your vet for a discount, honestly that is not my place to tell you. You need to decide that one for yourself.

      Goodluck.

      Reply

  25. Kelley Harrison Says:

    Hi thanks for this great article! We just found a lump at the base of our dogs tail the vet said it is not connected to her anal glands an idea on the approx cost to remove it? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hey Kelley
      Glad you have gotten your dog’s lump checked. I cannot estimate cost of removal as I haven examined your dog. Each vet clinic has its own estimates based on procedures. Best to discuss costs directly with the vet dealing with your dog. Good luck.

      Reply

  26. Adriana Says:

    I recently got my dog microchipped, because she is a very active dog, only a year on June 1st, and she constantly slips out the door. I thought the microchip was the best route because we can’t always chase her down. I got the microchipping done about 2-3 weeks ago, and now she has a small bubble-like lump in her skin that is on her rib cage. Right now it is only about the size of a dime, but I still worry. Am I right to worry?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Well done on microchipping your cheeky Houdini pooch. With regards to the lump on your dog’s rib cage, it shouldn’t be related to the microchip as that is inserted under the skin between the shoulders. Sometimes microchips move down from the original position and that may be the case with your dog. I recommend you get your dog’s lump checked by your regular veterinarian to determine what it is. Good luck.

      Reply

  27. Emmy fahd Says:

    Dr my 10 month cat got a lump under his jaw today. He is eating normal, playing happy. Should I worry?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Hello Emmy. It is definitely worth taking your cat to the vet. His lump needs to be checked out especially if it has appeared suddenly. It may be an abscess that requires draining and antibiotics. However, it may be many other things. Please get your cat checked our by your regular veterinarian asap for peace of mind. Good luck.

      Reply

      • emmy Says:

        Dear Dr I took Rusty asap , they did aids test, super complete blood test ,and it was ok nothing wrong. They took samples of the ball under his jaw, and sent it to the lab I have to wait 10 days in the mean time the balls are going to his neck and getting bigger.No medicine and when he breaths or purrs it is making a funny nose. Only if he doesn’t eat he has to go back. They don’t know what is going on. Please help , I feel the aids test for this emergency was not necessary. he has another ball behind his leg..

      • Rayya Says:

        Dear Emmy. Well done on taking Rusty to the vet. I am glad his lump was biopsied. It is definitely worth testing for feline immunodeficiency virus ( (FIV) as that can be a cause for lumps and it is important to know if it is present.
        Given more lumps are appearing, it’s best to directly communicate with the vet managing Rusty. I can’t really give you advise as I’m not physically examining him and don’t have access to his medical file.
        Based on the information you have provided me, I suspect his lymph nodes are enlarged. They are distributed all over the body and you shouldn’t feel them of the are normal sized. When there is infection, inflammation or cancer, they become palpable as they are bigger. Did your vet collect a sample called a fine needle aspirate of the lump and examine it under the microscope to rule out infection/am abscess?
        Please go back to your vet and ask them all your questions. If you don’t trust the vet seeing your cat, then find one you trust. Best of luck. Please let me know what happens with Rusty.

  28. Stefanie Says:

    Hi, i have a female cat and i just noticed a small golf ball size maybe smaller lump on her right shoulder. its soft and she doesn’t seem in pain when i touch it and all the hair from the area is gone. Could you maybe shed some some light on whats going on? About a little over a month ago a stray male cat attacked her and she has some small balled spots all over her body from it (which seem to bee healing fine) and there’s scabs where the bald spots are, which is what i thought this was on her shoulder cause there’s a small scab there and the hair is missing and the lump well maybe hasn’t always been there but it sure hasn’t been this large, and i would know, she is my child practically i cuddle and rub up on her all the time. Anyways could you pleeeease help I’m worried.
    Thank You.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Stefanie. Based on the history you have given me, I highly suspect your kitty cat has an abscess. I may be wrong as I haven’t examined your cat. I highly recommend you book your cat in to see your local vet. Your vet can collect a fine needle aspirate from the lump to rule in/out am abscess. It will require drainage and she may require antibiotics and possibly pain killers. Please let me know how you go. Good luck :-)

      Reply

      • Stefanie Says:

        Hi Dr i just wanted to let you know i took my kitty into the vet this morning her abscess busted so i took her in as soon as i could and she does have an abscess which was due to the male cat that attacked her they said she will obviously be fine and gave me an antibiotic to give her :) thank you for answering my question it did in a way re leave some of my worries that it wasn’t to outrageously bad

      • Rayya Says:

        Good your kitty cat got the treatment she needed. Glad I could be of help. Wishing her a full recovery :-)

      • Emmy Fahd Says:

        Dr Rayya HELP……….Do you remember me? This is Emmy and Rusty from Orlando Florida. As you know thanks to your advice I took him to the vet asap, after so many blood tests, HIV, thyroid, redos again medicines, samples of the swollen lymph nodes under his jaw……the doctors are surprise he is alive, eating well, playing, being naughty as always, the DOCTORS can not figure out until now what Rusty’s problem is. All the tests are coming back inconclusive again and again. His lumps are sometimes bigger, smaller, divided in 2, it is costing me a fortune and I am still in the beginning again.Dear Dr please HELP what about a biopsy, is it dangerous? How long will it take to recover? Why the wait? Any suggestions? Please go back to your files and find us. Sincerely thanks for helping all of us, desperate pet parents: Emmy.

      • Rayya Says:

        Hello Emmy. Sorry you have not had answers yet. Has Rusty received any treatment? He should definitely get a biopsy done to rule in/out lymphoma; a type of cancer. You must make sure he is not on any cortisone medication before the biopsy is performed. I really can’t give you much more information as I am not examining your cat and don’t have access to his full medical history. Please discuss your concerns and questions directly with the vets treating him. I hope the biopsy helps you determine what is going on.

      • Rayya Says:

        Emma… You must discuss your questions about the biopsy directly with your vet. Each vet clinic had different protocols for collecting biopsies. Some do it under sedation only plus local anaesthetic, others perform under a full general anaesthetic. Results of biopsy also varies between laboratories. We generally get the results within a week maximum. There are risks with every procedure performed under sedation or anaesthetic. Again, you need to discuss those directly with your vet. Good luck. Hope Rusty continues to feel well and hope his lumps resolve.

  29. Tina Rolf Says:

    My cat bane has a big lump on his neck, under his chin. He was feline lukemia positive when we got him. his owers moved and just tossed him outside. The lump changes size almost daily. It goes from the size of a marble to the size of a tennis ball. I took him to the vet, but because I’m on disability only, I am barely able to pay rent each month. when it swells up, his breathing gets raspy and it looks like it’s painfull for him to swallow. his eyes sometimes water and he coughs a little. the vet gave him a steroid shot that last three days and an antibiotic that lasts two weeks. it shrunk down and stayed that way for a little over a week. it never completely went away, bt he seemed his old self again. after about a week it came right back. it’s hard and almost kinda heart shaped. the vet said to her it looked like cancer. what should I do next. take him back to the vet to get test I could never afford or assume it’s cancer and humanly put his to sleep? I just hate to seem in pain trying to swallow and breath. he already lost about pounds over all this and can barely eat. I love him so much and it is gonna kill me to put him to sleep.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Tina. Well done on adopting Bane after he had been abandoned. Based on the information you have provided, I suspect he is suffering from lymphoma, a type of cancer. Patients respond to palliative care which consists of cortisone. You can keep him comfortable. As soon as you notice he doesn’t have a good quality of life, then you need to let your vet help along and let him rest in peace. Please discuss that directly with your vet. Enjoy every precious moment you have left with your special friend.

      Reply

      • Tina Rolf Says:

        Thank you so very much with your quick response, I really appreciate it.
        Tina

      • Rayya Says:

        Tina you are most welcome. Please let me know what happens with your special friend.

      • Tina Rolf Says:

        Well, on Monday he stopped eating, drinking and using the litter box. he could only breath with his mouth open and he sounded like Darth Vader. I called my vet and him euthanized on Tuesday. it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but I knew it was for the best.

      • Rayya Says:

        Hello Tina. I’m so sorry about your huge loss. You did the right thing by him. May his beautiful soul rest in peace.

  30. Sue Says:

    I noticed a lump on my 3yo golden retrievers back right leg. Came up all of a sudden cause it was probably half the size of a golf ball. Brought him to vet straight away – they did blood tests, needle aspirate etc. No infection seen, nothing from initial aspirate. Then he had swelling on opposite side of his leg – and we were following up so did biopsy. Again no infection, nothing seen although the extract they took they said fell apart a little bit when they were taking it out so they put some on a slide as well?! – not sure what that means, assume it means whatever is inside the lump/swelling is not solid. BTW, it is near his joint but not on it. They also thought it might be a reaction to trauma but would have expected my dog to be limping which he is not. He’s not limping, is happy, eating, playing. Normally he walks and plays with his brother off the lead and let him go back to normal routine but noticed swelling got a bit worse and he limped until I rested him so letting him go “hell for leather” if you want to put it that way obviously does result in a reaction and some limping. To cut a long store short, lump is still there and swelling is still there and it is 2 months later. It is not going down. Vet now saying need to go to soft tissue specialist, talking about removing lump/swelling and saying things like because it is hind leg might need skin grafts and if I leave it we might have to amputate if it gets too bad. Just the way this was landed on me scared me and left me wondering if they are telling me the right thing. He is insured but that is not the point, I just want to do the right thing for him and at this point I’m not sure what that is. Need some advice as don’t know what to do.

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Sue. I am sorry to hear about your ordeal. It is very scary when you have tried everything to determine what your dog’s lump is and you kept getting nowhere.
      Based on the information you provided, I can’t really tell what’s going on. Personally of a dog’s lame, I’d also be xraying the leg. As for the lump, a fine needle aspirate doesn’t always yield a good sample and I always then recommend collecting a punch or wedge biopsy (a chunk of the lump rather than just as aspirate) and send it off to the pathologist. Generally you always get a diagnosis based on that but not always. You can then approach the treatment appropriately.

      I suspect your golden retriever may have a mast cell tumour as it commonly affects this breed. It also can flare up with activity. If your dog is insured, definitely best to take him to a soft tissue specialist to get it removed.

      Your vet has done a good work up and given you the option of referral. As he or she have been unable to give you a diagnosis, it’s best to get a second opinion and go to a specialist.
      Hope this information helps.
      Good luck and let me know how your dog goes.

      Reply

      • Sue Says:

        Hi Rayya,

        Thank you for your quick reply. I should have said they already did numerous xrays but they did not show up anything either. In essence xrays show nothing and the aspirate and biopsy are showing nothing either. They also said about doing an MRI. My worry is about putting him through the whole process of getting a removal done if there is not much skin on his leg and going through the whole process of possible skin grafts. I guess I cannot understand why a biopsy and xrays would not be able to show what is wrong with him as I would have thought the biopsy itself would have shown if it was cancer but they said it is showing nothing but I’m not the professional. My husband and I will both have to talk about it and go from there. I will keep you updated.

      • Cindy Says:

        Hi I have a 6 week old pit bull today she suddently cried when I touched her neck I looked and felt a little soft lump and she never had it I was thinking a spider bite her something of that sort but not shure and I’m scared she was shaking also. Help please should I take her too the vet?

      • Rayya Says:

        Dear Cindy. Sorry to hear about your puppy’s sore lump. It’s definitely worth taking her to your vet. In terms of how soon, it depends on how she is. If she’s bright and alert and eating well, it may be able to wait until tomorrow. Otherwise, definitely worth contacting the after hours emergency vet to discuss your concerns. If she got vaccinated recently, it may be a vaccination reaction. Otherwise, it may be a reaction to a bite or a few other possibilities. Hope this helps. Please let me know how she goes.

  31. windows 7 free activation key Says:

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  32. Ashley Says:

    Hi Rayya
    My cat has had a lump on him that will fill and then deflate, it’s been there for over a year now. It doesbt seem to bother him or hurt him but he does lick at it a lot. I have a feeling it might be a clogged oil gland but I do worry that it might be something worse. Any insight would be great I do have some photos that I can send as well as it’s hard to know I’m sure just be description. Thanks so much

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Dear Ashley. Based on your description, it sounds like your kitty cat has a cyst. Cysts fill up with fluid and can fill up with fluid and drain and refill. Unfortunately, a picture won’t give me any more information. I’d have to physically examine the lump and collect a biopsy via a needle (fine needle aspirate) to determine if it’s a cyst or something else. I highly recommend you take your cat to your local vet so he/she can examine your cat and do a biopsy. Best to take him in when the lump is visible. Given he’s licking it, it’s obviously bothering him and needs veterinary attention. Hope this information helps. Please let me know how you get on. Cheers, Rayya

      Reply

  33. Amber Says:

    I have a 2 year old pitt bull and last December he got a lump under the left side of his jaw. I took him to the vet right away and they aspirated it and determined it was an infection put him on antibiotic and it went away within a week. About 3 weeks ago it appeared in the same place again. I called the vet and they prescribed an anti-inflammatory and a antibiotic he was on it about a week and the lump had more than doubled in size, I took him in and they lanced it and put in a drain and told me it was likely a grass seed foreign body. At that time they also increased his antibiotic and he had the drain in for a week. After having the drain pulled it was definitely smaller but not gone. His antibiotic was out and within 2 days it has swollen back up again. We again took him back to the vet and they prescribed a different antibiotic for him. I am so worried about him because we are also leaving in 2 days for Thanksgiving where him and our husky will be boarded for 6 days while we are gone. I have spoken both with the boarding facility and vet and they are aware of his issue and the vet said to bring him to them to stay while we are gone if it gets worse in the next few days. We have also scheduled to have a more aggressive procedure done once we get back. I am just not sure what to do from here how do we make sure we get the foreign body removed so this problem clears up?

    Reply

    • Rayya Says:

      Deae Amber,
      Sorry to hear about your pooch’s ordeal. Grass seeds can be super frustrating as you don’t always find them and they keep tracking. Trick is to take him to Vets as soon as lump appears as likelihood of finding increases then. However, it is important that your vets collect biopsy samples to ensure that it is indeed a benign or cancerous lump or a nasty infection. Should never only assume it’s a grass seed. Hope this information helps. Please let me know how you get on. Cheers,
      Rayya

      Reply

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  1. That’s Damn Interesting! Lovely Links 02-07-2013 | The Doggie Stylish Blog - February 7, 2013

    [...] Part 2 of Dr. Rayya’s “I found a lump on my pet”. Some of the medical images are pretty graphic. [...]

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