At Mitchell Veterinary Services, one of the more common lumps that we detect during our canine patients’ physical exams is a fatty lump, known as a lipoma. They are soft, movable and felt under the skin, but do not cause the animal pain or hair loss. These masses may grow very slowly and are essentially fat deposits.
Another type of bump we often discover during a physical exam is a sebaceous cyst. They are usually smooth, round masses that may have a blue tint. Sebaceous cysts form when a hair follicle is obstructed by sebum, a natural secretion that lubricates the dog’s skin. These masses may grow and rupture their contents, which can look like chunky, whitish material.
Unless lipomas are in a location that is causing discomfort to a pet, surgical removal generally is not necessary. Likewise, sebaceous cysts will often disappear on their own, but if they become infected or rupture repeatedly, surgical removal may be the best option for a pet’s long-term comfort.
Any time you feel a bump that develops on your pet, it is recommended to have it examined. A fine needle aspirate (a small needle, similar in size to a needle used for vaccinating your pet) is used to collect some cells from a mass, which are then examined under a microscope. Previously examined lumps should be looked at again if they grow within a month, change colour or leak material. If an animal is bothered by a lump due to location, pain or itchiness, it also warrants further investigation by our veterinarians. If you have any concerns about lumps or bumps on your dog, then do not hesitate to contact us at Mitchell Veterinary Services. We are here to help!