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Health & Wellness

When finding lumps is a cause for concern

It may not be an emergency

Has a lump or mass appeared on your dog? While it’s normal to be concerned, our on-staff vet Dr. Aliya McCullough shares a few tips to help you decide if you should call the vet.

Are there other symptoms? 

If your dog is showing signs of sickness, it could mean they’re suffering from an internal illness, like tumors, swollen lymph nodes or thyroid cancer. Symptoms can include: vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, chronic thirst and going to the bathroom often. 

But, what if there aren’t those symptoms? You’re your dog’s best advocate. If you’re concerned, it never hurts to reach out to your vet for help. 

How old is the lump? 

If it’s a new lump that doesn’t seem to bother your pet or change, it’s reasonable to bring it up at your next vet visit. But, if it’s new and your dog is licking or scratching it, or if it quickly changes, contact your vet ASAP. 

If it’s been around for a while and doesn’t seem to bother your dog, or change, keep an eye on it and check in with your vet at the next appointment. 

What are some changes to look out for? 

Whether it’s old or new, big or small, it’s important to monitor the lump for any changes or these signs of a bigger problem: 

  • Black or purple color
  • Looks like an open sore
  • Pink spots or bruising around lump
  • Texture becomes hard
  • Grows in size
  • Visible discomfort

As always, if it makes you feel better — contact your vet. They can often take a sample of fluid from the lump and review it while you’re in the office to see if there is cause for concern. Lumps and masses are not always straightforward, so it’s important to make sure your pet is always healthy. 

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