I found a lump on my pet what should I do?

It seems like every other appointment requests “Dr. Beall, as long as I am here can you check this lump on my pet?” Lumps and bumps on our pets are a common thing and should not be taken lightly. I think that often my clients just want to be assured that it is nothing serious and that it will be ok. In reality, some bumps are ok, and some are not. We should test all lumps and not just monitor them without testing.

Lumps and bumps fall into two categories: Non-Cancerous and Cancerous. Non-Cancerous lumps are things like Cysts, Abscesses, Foreign Bodies, and Bites. These are all treatable and usually, do not have long term consequences. Cancerous Masses are a more serious matter, but there are so-called good ones and bad ones. Good Cancers (benign tumors) are prevalent and are things like Warts (Papilloma) and Fatty Masses (Lipoma). These also do not have long term consequences, but they can become infected, large and cumbersome. Bad Cancers (malignant tumors) are what we are all worried about because they can have adverse consequences by spreading elsewhere in the body.

As you can see, every little bump has many possibilities with differing outcomes, so we follow the advice of Dr. Sue Cancer Vet (drsuecancervet.com) and recommend “See Something, Do Something. Why Wait? Aspirate. What this means is that the only way to tell what a lump is and what it may do is to insert a needle into the mass and test it. We usually do a quick, inexpensive test at our hospital, by using our microscope. If we do not see a problem, we will recommend monitoring the mass for progression, however, if we are suspicious we will send the sample off to a pathologist for further testing.

How do I check for possible masses on my pet?

The easy answer and best answer is pet your furry friends often.☺ Maybe even a full-blown massage from time to time. Your pet will love it and you will be better in touch with possible lumps and bumps that may develop.

What should I look for if I find a mass on my pet?

We are all trained about the serious nature of lumps and bumps on us, and the same applies to our pets. We should have all masses tested early. If the mass is the size of a pea or has been there more than a month call your vet. This may be worth repeating, If the mass is the size of a pea or has been there more than a month call your vet. If we all do this, even the bad lumps have a better chance of being treated. There are new opportunities in cancer treatment for your pet, both locally and nationally.

So please keep asking “Dr. Beall can you check this lump on my pet?” and we will improve the life of our beloved pets, and give ourselves that reassurance that everything will be ok.

Gary Beall DVM
Chip Beall OSU Seniro Vet Student
Springboro Veterinary Hospital
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