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Updated: 11/13/2013 08:00:03AM

What about the lump on my dog (or cat)?

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Lumps in animals should be checked out and the general rule is that if it growing it could be cancerous. This lesion is a mast cell.

Thomas B. Schotman

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Many of our dog and cat patients present with lumps or bumps on the skin, mostly benign and not a serious health risk to the animal. Cutaneous growths can be serious. If a lump is growing, there is a significant likelihood that it is cancer, and it is best diagnosed and removed while it is small. The larger a skin tumor the more likely it has spread or metastasized.

Many dogs will develop skin tags, sebaceous cysts, or moles which are benign growths called histiocytomas. These are not a health risk to the animal but may be a nuisance to the owner or the groomer. Cysts may rupture and drain. Larger tags or moles may bleed or scab over if disturbed. Usually surgical removal is the best resolution of these skin issues, even though they are not a bigger risk to the dog ( or cat).

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