Not all lumps can be lumped together!
Have you noticed a new lump on your pet? If so, it’s best to get this checked fairly promptly by our team, as some lumps require further treatment for your pet’s health and comfort.
What might my pet’s lump be?
A new lump on your pet could be:
Inflammation e.g. an insect sting
Infection e.g. a tooth root abscess
A foreign body e.g. a grass seed migrating between the toes
A cyst – a fluid-filled lump
A tumour – these can be benign (i.e. non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous, spreading around the body)
How can we tell what my pet’s lump is?
Sometimes we can look at a lump and get a good idea of what it might be, if it’s a mass type with a fairly classic, distinct appearance.
However, in most cases it’s best for us to do testing of the lump, to confirm what is actually causing it. This can involve:
In-house testing – this is where we collect some material from the lump (either with a needle, or by smearing a glass slide onto it if the lump is moist), and look at the sample under the microscope
Surgical biopsies – in some cases, we can only get a definitive answer by removing part or all of the lump (depending on how extensive it is), and sending it to the laboratory for testing
What treatment will be required?
Once we know what mass type your pet has, we can recommend appropriate treatment. Some lumps, such as cysts or benign tumours, may just require monitoring to ensure they don’t grow big enough to bother your pet.
Malignant cancers may require varying treatments, depending on what specific type they are – treatment options may involve surgery, referral to a specialist for chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or palliative care to keep your pet comfortable.
The best option for your pet (and your worry levels) is to get any lump checked promptly – we in-cyst!