Skin lumps are growths of tissue that are within the skin or can be felt under the skin. Pets can develop small bumps (papules) or larger bumps (nodules) on their skin. These lumps and bumps are fairly common occurrences, especially in the older pet.

Very often the word “lump” brings the word “cancer” to mind. However, there are many other causes of lumps. A skin growth or mass may be a malignant or benign tumor, an abscess, a cyst, a hematoma (bruise) or a reaction by the skin to an allergen (hives). Lumps may also be benign accumulations of fat called lipomas. However, all lumps should be evaluated for the possibility of malignancy.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • The presence of a skin lump is typically diagnosed through history and physical examination findings. Determining the cause of the lump requires further testing such as an aspirate and cytology of the mass or biopsy. In some situations, a sample of the lump may be submitted for culture.
  • Treatment depends on the cause of the mass, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Treatment may include monitoring, various medication such as antibiotics, antihistamines or topical medication or surgical removal. Discuss treatment details when your pet is evaluated and the underlying condition causing the lump is diagnosed.

What to Watch for*:

  • Appearance of new lumps on skin
  • Rapidly growing lump
  • Warm or painful lump
  • Ulceration or bleeding from the lump

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!