If you find a lump on your pet, don’t panic!
It is always best to have a feel, or visually inspect it to confirm that it is not confused with matted fur, debris, or something else (like a paralysis tick!)
If you can confirm that what you have found is, indeed a lump of some sort, you should always have it checked by a veterinarian. Whilst some of the lumps we analyse are harmless, others can be very dangerous if left untreated.
The earlier a lump or bump is diagnosed, the more treatment options your pet will have – and the more likely successful the treatment plan will be.
Testing a lump to see what type it is can be as simple as performing a test called a ‘fine needle aspirate’. Your veterinarian will put a small needle into the centre of the lump, draw out some cells, and then deposit these cells onto a microscope slide. Next, the slide is prepared with special dyes, and is then viewed under a microscope to examine the specific cells that have been collected.
Once the lump has been analysed, it will fit into one of two categories:
Benign – Benign lumps may grow bigger but do not spread elsewhere. Some growths can cause problems if they continue to grow (such as restricting movement or breathing) due to their size.
Malignant – Malignant lumps can be aggressive and spread to other areas within the body (most commonly, to the major organs). Malignant growths must be removed before they spread elsewhere.
What treatment is required?
In most cases, the treatment required for most growths is to remove them and have them thoroughly analysed at a laboratory to confirm the exact diagnosis, and to determine whether the lump has been removed in its entirety.
Does your pet need to have an anaesthetic to have a lump removed?
In human medicine, skin lumps are often removed by a doctor using local anaesthetic. In veterinary medicine this can be very tricky, as your pet must lie very still during the procedure. So, to make sure that the entire lump is removed and for the safety of all involved, an anaesthetic is usually required.
Your pet has had a lump for a long time (even years!) should you be concerned?
All lumps should be monitored. Feel the lump and take notice its size every few weeks. If the lump changes in any way, is sore to touch, becomes ‘crusty’ or discharges fluid, you should make an appointment to see your veterinarian immediately.
The final word…
A watchful eye is rewarded and noticing changes in your pet’s health can lead to early diagnosis and successful treatment outcomes.
Our senior pet month consultation special includes the cytological examination (fine needle aspirate tests) of up to two lumps or bumps as well as a comprehensive check up and blood and urine testing – all for $180!
Book your senior sweetheart in for a check now and save $$$
Offer ends July 31st!