Lumps in dogs and cats occur in all shapes and sizes and in all locations ranging from the skin, mouth, toes and eyelids. Naturally the common question vets are asked when seeing a pet with a lump is “What is it?”. This is a very good question but not one we can always answer without performing some important tests. The first step is for the vet to examine the pet and the lump thoroughly. The next step if the patient will allow is to aspirate a small sample from the lump using a fine needle and examine it under the clinic microscope. This will help rule out different types of lumps such as an abscess, a fatty lump or cyst, or a solid growth or mass. When a solid mass is suspected we recommend a biopsy be performed and sent away for analysis by a veterinary pathologist. This is the best way to have a 100% diagnosis made. Many lumps, even if cancerous or malignant, can be surgically removed and cured, whatever the age of your pet. Hence with any lump it is best to have it seen as soon as possible as even harmless looking lumps can turn out to be serious. Another reason for urgent attention is that a small lump is much easier to remove than a large one. Check your dog and cat regularly for any unusual lumps and bumps and if concerned see your vet. This is Jerry the Staffordshire Bull Terrier who had a skin lump removed at our vet clinic this week.
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