Any lump is a cause for concern, particularly if it is growing. You should see us to have it examined as soon as possible.
There are a variety of different problems that can present as 'lumps'. These include cysts, skin tags, warts, papillomas, abscesses, haematomas, benign tumours and malignant tumours. We need to check all lumps because if they are malignant then the sooner we make a diagnosis, the better the prognosis for your pet.
Sometimes we will recognise what type of lump it is just by looking at it or feeling it, but usually we need to perform a test called a Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA) to determine what is inside the lump. Some common findings are:
To distinguish between benign and malignant lumps, we will first make a slide of the cells from the aspirate. Sometimes we can tell what the lump is just by looking at this slide, but often we still won't know for sure. The next step is to take a biopsy. Depending on the size of the lump, we may take a small part of the lump or excise the entire lump to send off for analysis.
The treatment depends on what the lump is.
Here you can find information and advice about common problems and diseases. Please remember, though, that this information can't replace a visit to the vet!