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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Help! Found A Lump On The Dog… Now What?

Updated: August 5th, 2019


Dr. Demian Dressler, best-selling author of “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide”, explains exactly what to do when you find a lump on your dog.

One of the most common comments that readers post on this blog goes something like this: “Help! Found a lump on the dog… What do I do now? The lump is (description) and is on my dog’s (body part).  Is it anything to worry about?”

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It helps to widen back and look at lumps in dogs generally to help clarify this topic.  What’s the number one cause of dog death, if we exclude euthanasia?  Dog cancer.  How does dog cancer most commonly look to the naked eye?  It looks like a lump.

When we find a lump on a dog, this should be a red flag.  A certain reaction should be happening in the mind of the dog lover. First, both veterinarians and dog guardians should know the number one most dangerous health problem that exists for dogs, the most likely problem that could take a dog away… cancer.

We have been negligent in spreading this information to dog guardians.  And by “we”, I include the group I am a member of: veterinarians.  Vets should have this information and be spreading it in the same way we talk about parvo and heartworm disease.

For some reason we don’t.  Perhaps it is because bringing up cancer in a discussion feels a little out of bounds since we don’t want to upset our clients.  Or it could be that there has not been a marketing push like there is for parvo vaccination or for heartworm disease.  Since we have access to preventatives in these cases, pharmaceutical companies make a point to help spread the word about these diseases.

This is not wrong, of course.  Why not protect a dog from a problem when it is prudent to do so? (The vaccination debate is discussed elsewhere…)

So why would a guardian wonder what to do if a lump popped up?  Clearly, if a woman found a lump in her breast, she would most likely be at the doctor’s promptly.  Why?  Because there has been enough press on breast cancer that finding the lump would raise a red flag, sparking the thought that breast cancer happens.

But in veterinary medicine, there is a mental disconnect between lumps in dogs and cancer, in spite of the statistics.

The answer to the question of what to do if a lump is found on a loved dog is this: go to your vet and get it checked!  Get it aspirated, get it biopsied, get the data you need!

Can a vet diagnose a lump by looking at it?  Very occasionally, but usually not.  Can a vet diagnose a lump by squeezing it? Very occasionally, but usually not.

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One of my pet peeves (sorry, bad pun) is the diagnosis of a benign fatty tumor based on looking and touching alone.  Soft, squishy bumps under the skin could indeed be harmless lipomas.  But, they could also be dangerous growths like mast cell tumors, hemangiopericytomas, subcutaneous blood filled hemangiosarcomas, or liposarcomas.  These all feel soft and squishy.

This brings a case to mind.  Three weeks ago, a client brought her dog in to have a lump checked out.  This had been previously diagnosed as a harmless lipoma at another veterinary hospital.  It felt soft and squishy.

A fine needle aspirate was done on the growth at my hospital.  I inserted a syringe with a needle in the growth, and pulled back on the plunger.  Did fat enter the needle hub, which is what a fatty tumor would yield?  No.  The syringe filled with blood.

This was no lipoma. Blood filled swellings have their list of possibilities too, but one of them is a hemangiosarcoma under the skin, a malignant cancer.  And over the 6 months that this growth had slowly increased in size with nothing done, the mass had swelled to about 4 inches across.

Now we had a big problem to deal with that could have been caught a long time ago.

The bottom line is this: remember the dog cancer statistics.  According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, 1 in 3 dogs will contract cancer in their lifetime, and this number increases to 1 in 2 if the dog is more than 10 years of age.

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Get dog lumps checked!

For more information on dog lumps, how they are diagnosed, and their complete treatment options, check out The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.


Dr D

Also see: Lumps On Dogs: When To Get Them Checked By A Veterinarian

Discover the Full Spectrum Approach to Dog Cancer

Leave a Comment

  1. Azaria on March 31, 2018 at 11:07 am

    My 6th momth puppy has a lump on his side what should i do because i can move it

  2. Luka Dylan on January 2, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I just got a 5 month old puppy today from a lady who seemed too eager for him to leave. He looks like he was being neglected in the past home. He has a lump right above his groin where his umbilical cord would’ve been. It is about the size of a quarter. He licks it constantly unless I tell him no. It is hard like a ball. It doesn’t hurt him when I touch it. He doesn’t seem to mind. Please help I don’t know what may be wrong with him.

    • Amber Drake on January 3, 2018 at 5:53 am

      Luka, so sorry to hear about your puppy’s past. He’s so lucky to have you now. You should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible to get the lump examined. Warm wishes and cuddles to you and your new puppy.

  3. lump or lipoma or? on August 13, 2016 at 10:09 am

    […] bigger). I read these pages: Ask a Vet: Do I Need to Worry About a Fat Lump on My Dog's Chest? Help! Found A Lump On The Dog… Now What? Can someone please advise? I hope it's benign…already going through enough problems, lost my […]

  4. Susan Kazara Harper on March 15, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Hi, I know how worrying this is. To answer your question, yes, it could be any of those, or none. Can you get to a vet and ask to have the lumps aspirated? Until you actually know, all your energy is spent worrying, and if there is something wrong it will not get better and may get worse. If you get the lumps checked and all is well… .what a relief! Think of it this way, if a lump appeared on your body, would you want to get it checked out? The old school idea of watch and wait for our pets often leads to sad news later on. Get them checked, then you’ll know what you’re dealing with. Good luck!

  5. olayak on March 12, 2015 at 9:12 am

    My dog has a hard lump, the size of a pea, under the skin under her front armpit. It’s been there for several weeks. She also has a couple of small squishy lumps on her side. Mostly I’m concerned about the hard lump. It’s so small. Could this be a cyst? A lymph node infection? Or a tumor?

  6. Susan Kazara Harper on February 22, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Kortney, It’s nearly impossible to give you solid information online… you would really need a vet to determine the diagnosis. But, depending upon where the lump is on the paw and how suddenly it came up, it’s possible it could be something as simple as a thorn or a bit of something that got stuck in the paw and has formed an abcess. Does she lick it? That could be the cause of the hair loss, plus the fur is expanding because of the lump. Dogs will lick an area that is uncomfortable. If she doesn’t want you to touch it, something hurts, and that could also support the possibility that something is stuck in there. You’d have to call round to your local vets to ask how much a basic appt would cost to look at the paw and give an initial opinion. That would be a start. Is she limping? Unlikely she’s pulled a muscle if no limp. But bottom line is that the more you worry and the longer you wait to at least talk with a vet who can look at it, the more likely it is to get worse. And it’s not likely to get better on its own. Do please at least phone the vets to get a basic price, then you’ll have an idea. Good luck!

  7. Kortney on February 19, 2015 at 10:53 am

    My German Shepard (in laws dog technically)has a large solid lump on her front paw. It started smaller and has gotten quite large. She won’t let me touch it and the fur is starting to wear off on that area. I figure it is probably fluid filled but I’m concerned. My father in law insists she pulled muscle or something. What could it be, and if my husband and I could save little bit of money, what would need to be done/how much might a vet visit for this maybe cost?

  8. Osobear on December 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    My dog has a gold size lump on his leg. I felt it and its really squishy it’s not hard at all it feels as if there was some type of liquid on it. What should I do ??

    • Susan Kazara Harper on December 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Go to the vet. Ask to have a biopsy. Please don’t just wait and watch it. If you don’t go, you’ll worry and if it’s something bad it will get worse. Best case, it’s a simple bump or local infection and can be easily treated. The vet will probably use a needle to draw fluid. So don’t panic, but take action. You’ll feel much better. Good luck!

  9. Mitch on November 30, 2014 at 8:49 am

    thanks for the info! really helpful Frankie’s lump was big one day and then really small the next day. and the next day it was almost gone…..i think im over reacting, but it can never hurt to be too careful when it comes to caring for your loyal friend.

    • Susan Kazara Harper on December 1, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Very true. Keep an eye on it, and don’t wait to go get it checked. Just imagine, if you woke up with a lump that changed almost daily, wouldn’t you ask your doctor about it?

  10. Susan Kazara Harper on November 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Take the pup to your vet to be checked. Please do not waste time worrying. Nothing good will come of it. Find out what’s going on and what you can do. There is nothing like puppy love and joy. Get him checked.

  11. worried on November 8, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I have six pups an only one has about three limps under its belly an he is olny 4 weeks old i am worried

  12. Kay on October 26, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Hello, my dog is a 10 year old border collie cross. She usually sleeps in my room, but a couple weeks ago we noticed that she wasn’t in our bedroom. We went looking for her and found her in the basement corner having a hard time walking on her back legs. After a day or so she was almost totally back to normal and walking fine. Around a week and a half later we noticed a lump on her neck and brought her in to the vet’s. We had a biopsy done and the vet withdrew a syringe of bloody looking fluid from the lump. We sent it off to the lab, and apparently it wasn’t cancer. We’ve had her on antibiotics for almost two weeks now and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, also her walking has gotten progressively worse until this evening she could barely stand to go outside. She’s eating fine, and looks generally healthy but we don’t know what to do. Our vet says the antibiotics should clear up any infection but after all this time the lump hasn’t changed and her walking is only getting worse. I should also mention that she was at another persons house for a few weeks with their two big dogs, but all three get along and are good pals (not sure if that helps?) the other two big dogs are totally healthy and happy.


    • Susan Kazara Harper on October 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Hi Kay,
      I know this is worrying. It could be that she rough-housed with the other dogs, perhaps has an infected bite wound or similar, but you know, there is no way to advise very much here online. But for sure, you are worried and I think you’d be happier moving ahead a bit faster on finding the reason for her symptoms. If you own vet is not worried and doesn’t hear that you are, you are perfectly within your rights to consult another vet. Your priority is your dog, and she’s obviously not happy. Good luck! Go take care of her.

  13. Susan Kazara Harper on September 23, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Well, it can be an allergic reaction, … allergic to what? Is your dog itching? Has the vet prescribed anything to help? You need more information, but there’s no point getting scared until you know what to be scared about. Get a diagnosis, get a prognosis, use the best nutrition with real food that you can and take it from there. Good luck!

  14. okc405 on September 19, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    my dog has half dollar size lumps all over his body they say allergic reaction never seen anything like this it scared the hell out of me

  15. Raquel S on September 18, 2014 at 11:54 am

    My German Shepherd has this lump on her side. It was small then thru the months got bigger and today i found out that she started to lick it and nibble on it and she wont stop licking it! they say that dogs can heel their own wounds. But im scared and worry now.

    • Susan Kazara Harper on September 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Raquel,
      The saying that dogs can heal their wounds is ‘old wisdom’, and refers to a dog licking something like a cut or a tear in the coat. Keeping it clean and helping it to heal. This isn’t the same at all. Now I don’t want to scare you more than you are. Get your girl to the vet and have the lump checked. Leaving it any longer will not make it better. If it’s nothing, or a simple cyst, that’s great news and you’ll get it taken care of and can relax. If it’s something more serious, leaving it longer will only give it time to get worse. Get to the vet, and ask for a biopsy. Good luck!

    • olayak on March 12, 2015 at 7:26 am

      My dog was licking at a wound on her leg, it looked like a sore. Short story, it ended up being cancer but we didn’t know this until it spread to her lungs and killed her. Dogs often lick a spot where there is a tumor. Please get it checked out.

  16. Susan Kazara Harper on September 9, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Andy,
    Yes, it could be cancer. It could also be a benign fatty mass. Go to your vet. Get it biopsied. Don’t be fooled into “wait and see”, that’s old school, and accomplishes nothing. The only thing waiting gives you is: If it’s benign, you’ll spend time worrying. If it’s malignant, you’ll waste precious fighting time. Go to your vet. Find out for sure.

  17. Andy Gray on September 8, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    My dog has this lump, yet it isn’t hard and squishy, its hard and if you massage it, it moves a bit around as if encapsulated. Could this be a sign of skin cancer? or just a fat mass? idk, im really worried.

  18. Susan Kazara Harper on July 30, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Hello, I know this is scary, but you don’t know yet what you’re scared of. By that I mean, you are imagining all the horrible possibilities before you really know what this mass is. You must have a follow-up appointment booked with your vet to see whether the antibiotics have made any difference. Yes? If your vet confirms that they have not, I recommend you ask to have the mass biopsied with a fine needle aspirate. This can be done without sedating your dog. A needle is inserted into the mass and fluid drawn out. The fluid is then checked at a lab, and they should be able to tell you whether it’s an infection or something worse like cancer. Even with cancer, it could be a low grade that you could do something about. But until you know, you are spending energy worrying. Remember, “Worry is a prayer for what we don’t want.” I do recommend you make your dog’s nutrition the best you can. You can get a free Dog Cancer Diet download at http://www.dogcancerdiet.com and remember, the best nutrition will also help him with his joints and all his other body systems. Please do check back in with your vet. Also, a good tip for that mass. Take a photo of it on your phone, and every couple of days take another photo. It’s a wonderful way to chart any changes. Good luck!

  19. Feeling Helpless on July 29, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I have a black lab/mixed Chow who is 14+ years old. Recently we noticed some arthritis in the hind legs with stiffness. He is eating and going to the bathroom fine. Over the last 2 weeks our dog has developed a large hanging sack of fluid on the underside by his peri area. The sack appears to be growing in size. I have taken him to the vet who prescribed antibiotics and pain pills for him which have helped some. I am worried that he is suffering and not sure when to consider the inevitable. My heart is breaking and I don’t want to see him suffer. Any advice would be appreciated.

  20. Susan Kazara Harper on July 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Clayton,
    I completely understand your situation. You want the very best for Luna but the reality is that everything costs, and you are wise to acknowledge this because it’s very real. Here’s the thing, if you don’t get it checked out, with even a fine needle aspirate, you don’t know what you’re worrying about, or even whether you should worry. Lumps that are on or near the surface of the body are easy for the vet to aspirate, where they draw some fluid from the lump into a needle and look at it under a microscope. una would not have to be sedated for this, it’s pretty simple. Equally, if your vet can completely take the lump away surgically and then biopsy the material, this gives an even better way to diagnose. If you are dealing with cancer, either of these procedures will help you know. If so, there are MANY things you can do to help her without committing to chemotherapy and expensive procedures. If she is happy and healthy otherwise (poor thing to have a perforated lung!) and you are feeding her so well, why don’t you ask your vet for the costs involved with fine needle aspirate, and/or surgical removal. At least you’ll know. The “wait and see” approach isn’t the best, only because if it is something serious, it’s getting worse while you wait. Get prices and information, then you can decide how to proceed. Good luck!

  21. Susan Kazara Harper on July 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Hello, we know it’s scary when you find something that worries you about your dog’s health. Five years old is nice and young for a strong immune system. There is no way to guess what this lump may be, without going to see your vet. Please make an appointment. If you don’t, you will only spendm ore time worrying, and if the lump is something serious, it will likely get worse. Your vet can diagnose what the problem is, then you’ll know. And guess what? It could be a simple situation with an easy fix. Good luck!

  22. Debo on July 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I have a 1&1/2 yr old pitbull. I noticed a marble sized lump on his testicles. i just mated him with another pitbull about 4 days ago. they were together for 3 days and I believe they were ”successfull” 6x. now that he has beenhome I noticed the lump seems slightly larger and now his testicles are bright red and are sagging. this is the 2nd time we have mated him. also he has been very clinging and calm and cuddlywhich is not like him. what is going on?

  23. Clayton on July 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Our 9 year old mix lab (55lbs) has a soft racketball sized lump on her right upper abdomen, just below her ribs. There is no pain as she lets me push rather hard on the round lump.

    This is something we just noticed today but our vet visually inspected an oblong “syst” on her back. This lump is about 1/2″ to 3/4″, is discolored, swells & subsides slightly, and is also not painful for her. His advice was to leave it and if it bothered her he could cut it out simpy.

    I hate to acknowledge it but to inform your advice, please know that we cannot afford an involved processes like treating cancer.

    She’s eaten healthy grain free, GMO free food/dentals/treats and has had regular check-ups/treatment her whole life. In January 2007 she perforated a lung and a $1500-$2500 agreement/estimate became a nearly $5000 bill. I cannot and will not make that choice again for our family’s financial wellbeing in this situation. However giving up on our Luna in that scenario would be difficult and I want to exhaust every other option.

    What should we be expecting? Are there resources or other forms of support or treatment?

  24. Veryscared on July 8, 2014 at 11:06 am

    My dog Shasta has a ball to the right of his penis. Its not visible but if you feel around you can feel it. He isn’t very old, he is five years old. I am just so scared its cancer because I don’t have any money. Please any advice would be appreciated!

  25. Susan Kazara Harper on July 8, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Hi Morgan,
    There’s no way to know whether these are simple fatty lumps or something more serious, without a visit to your vet. You can choose to “wait and see” and keep track of their growth by taking pictures of them next to a coin or something similar. But, how will you feel if you wait and in a few months you find out that they are serious problems? If you’re able to go to your vet to get them checked, it’s the safest way. A needle aspirate may be suggested, but a full biopsy, which is taking the lumps out, or at least a part of the lumps, and sending them to the lab, is the best way to determine just what they are. Please check out https://www.dogcancerblog.com/blog/lumps-on-dogs-when-to-get-them-checked-by-a-veterinarian/ All the best!

    • morgan on July 8, 2014 at 6:04 am

      Thank you

  26. morgan on July 8, 2014 at 5:13 am

    My 11 year old dog Hershey is @ chocolate lab and has a firm bump on the front and a squishy bump on the side what do I do

  27. Susan Kazara Harper on April 11, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Hi Zizou,
    So sorry to hear that your pug’s MCT has returned.
    I know you’re asking about the odds and how treatable MCTs on the scrotum are. The truth is, every dog is different, and although our brains like to have statistics, your boy is a complete individual. What does your vet say? Is he or she recommending another surgery to get cleaner margins on this new growth? Advising any other treatment?
    Is there any evidence that it has metastasized? I’ve attached just a couple of the blogs that discuss MCT here…..



    If the tumor is still small, your dog is doing well otherwise (eating well, happy etc.) then you have a dog who may be quite happy have further treatment, Are you on the Dog Cancer Diet? Using any supportive nutraceuticals? My best suggestion is to write all your questions down, and have a real good talk with your vet. Forget that your dog is 10 for a moment, clearly see how your dog is in himself. Get the information from your vet. If you’re happy working with him or her, take a breath and you’ll know the right decision. If you feel you don’t have enough answers, find a veterinary oncologist or another vet who has been recommended to you, and ask for another opinion. It’s important to be able to talk frankly with your vet and to both be on board with the decision that you make. Most importantly, talk to that pug of yours. Tell him you’re ready to do whatever he needs, and the look in his eyes will tell you. Good luck. Let us know if we can help at all.

  28. Zizou on April 10, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    My 10 year old neutered pug (he was neutered only last year) has a MCT on the area where his scrotum used to be. He had a MCT low grade successfully removed last year and 12 months later he got this. I am devastated…we still dont know what the grade is, just got the results back from the needle aspirate. I am petrofied….
    The only good thing is that it is very small (less than 5mm) and on the skin and it is very new as I have been checkign him thoroughly. Are scrotum MCTs curable? I mean i have read reports that say that MCTs on the scrotum tend to be more aggressive but more recent ones say that this is not the case. What are your thoughts?

  29. Susan Kazara Harper on March 11, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Amy,
    It could be anything from a cyst to a localized infection to a benign fatty lump, to something more serious. There is simply no way of being completely sure without your vet doing at least a fine needle aspirate or a biopsy of a piece of the lump. If you can, make an appointment with your vet to get it checked out. Until you know, all you’ll have is uncertainty and worry. Good luck! Please give your pup a cuddle from us all. Susan

  30. amy on March 6, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    My 8 year old chihuahua has a lump about the size of a marble on his back leg. It moves around easily, it is pretty firm and there is no fur on it. Any idea what it could be?

  31. Patrik on January 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I took my dog to the vet less than a month ago. It was a routine physical for him. He was checked for lumps and had blood work done. Everything came back normal. However today I found a lump on him. I’m going to take him back to the vet but I wanted to know if I should be worried. I don’t think it could be cancer considering his blood test came back normal but the lump is very frightening. Any thoughts?

    • Susan Kazara Harper on January 2, 2014 at 3:15 am

      Hi Patrik, Well done for giving your dog a vet check-up last month and being so aware of his health! The sudden occurrence of a lump should be checked, but don’t put your energy into worry at this stage. It won’t do you or your dog any good. A lump could be anything from a fatty deposit, cyst, a little infection, the site of him bumping into a stick, etc. Do please get it checked out. The general blood test he had last month will not in itself measure whether there are any cancer cells in the body… rather it’s an indication of how well all of his organ systems are doing. We always recommend asking your vet to either aspirate the lump, where they use a fine needle to take fluid from the lump, or to do a biopsy where they would surgically take a piece of the lump. In each case the substance should be checked out in the lab and you’ll then get a diagnosis. Get advice from your vet but remember, you are your boy’s guardian and your instincts are his best guide. Don’t worry. Just make that appointment to give you piece of mind. Good luck!

  32. brit on December 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I am so scared. My dog has surgery today to remove a small marble shaped lump near elbow on front leg. Vet indicated it could be cancer so its being biopsied. Everything I read says it might be cancer! This is my heart dog, I rescued him when he was 7mo from a shelter and he has been so healthy (now 7yo) as I make all my own dog food and do everything naturally. I am shattered and worried, recently lost a 15yo rescue that I only had for 2 years, no way can I get through losing this one, he is my heart dog 🙁 brit

    • Susan Kazara Harper on December 13, 2013 at 4:42 am

      Brit, Take a breath my dear. Wait until you have the biopsy results and know what you’re dealing with. I know you’re finding scary results on your search for information, but if you look for something you’ll eventually find it. That doesn’t mean this is your dog’s destiny. It’s great that you are making your own food. Stay strong, get the results, and even if it IS a malignant growth there is so much you can do, and I really want to emphasize that to you. I’ve had two dogs with cancer, and the second boy is asleep behind me, just celebrated his 16th birthday. Hold on, get your information, and if you do have a fight ahead check out this site and all the great information to help you navigate it. Your dog will rely on your emotions through this. Keep your tail wagging. All the best!

  33. Scotty-watcher on December 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks for this blog entry. It is very helpful in every way imaginable.

  34. justin on June 7, 2013 at 3:52 am

    hi dr demian

    I have a 1 year and 4months old dog. her name is ruby she has soft swelling like tennis balls behind both her front legs on the joints is there any way to bring the swelling down what do I do Justin from south Africa

  35. Dustin on May 12, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Hi Dr D, I have a 13 year old lab who has over the past few years developed a hard lump in her right front leg just below her shoulder and has recently developed another large lump on her right side near her back leg that is just a bit bigger then a golf ball and is soft and squishy with what looks like little red freckles around it now, I know I should probably get her checked out but I have no clue how much it would be and vet clinics get pretty expensive and she does not look like she is bothered by it or in any pain, she’s still pretty active and runs around with my little sisters sometimes and doesn’t look like she’s sick, any suggestions on what it may be?

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on May 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      I would get the bump tested so you know what it is…

  36. Ellyn on May 10, 2013 at 7:49 am

    My Yorkie Hobbes is 5 years old. He weighs 5 pounds. He has a small rubbery growth on his left rib. Does not bother him when I touch it. Today I felt a new lump on the exact same rib on the opposite side

  37. Skylar dunton on April 21, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    My dog is only 4 years old and about a month ago I found a lump on her leg. I am very worried about her. My grandma says that she will be fine but I don’t think so.
    My grandma is not willing to go to the vet about this. What should I do?

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on April 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Dear Skylar,
      i really think that it is best to get a lump checked. It may not be dangerous, but in the same way that a human being should get a lump checked (like a lump in the breast of a woman for example), dog lumps should be diagnosed at the vet’s.
      I hope this helps
      Dr D

  38. ellie mcdonagh on February 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much I brought my dog to the vet and he told not to worry

  39. Clint on January 29, 2013 at 6:44 am

    My dog, 8 years old now and she has a lump on her left arm near paws… i noticed that it has been growing, decided to take her out to vet and have it checked. So, the dr put syringe in her lump and no bloods at all. til 3rd syringe, tip of blood. So, i asked dr whats status, she said no idea but have to check up with x ray etc etc. more money. Of course, i left with black heart after paying 300 dollars for blood works and no answer. So, anyway, at this point, is it just lipoma or cancer? because first 2 syringes didnt show any blood. Any idea?


  40. cindy heth on December 27, 2012 at 6:09 am

    my chihuwahua is 18 and now has a lump next to her nipple. it is the size of a marble is she to old to have it taken off?

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on January 2, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Dear Cindy, old age is not a disease by itself. Talk to your vet about taking the necessary precautions to make an excisional biopsy as safe as possible.
      Dr D

  41. Lynn van Rooyen on December 9, 2012 at 5:49 am

    One of my `babies’ has a lump under her left front leg which seems to be a loose when felt. We have taken her to the Vet and he said that she had cancer on her ribs, and to remove it he would have to saw the whole rib out and this would cause her extreme pain. What is there we can do to help her as she is getting so thin and now she has developed a lump on the left side just in front on her front leg. I would like to give her `quality’ for the life she has left. Any suggestions, or would it be kinder to her to send her to Doggie Heaven to send her to her sisters..

  42. Christine on December 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    My 13 year old boxer/beagle mixnamed Karma has suddenly started showing signs of difficulty walking. We thought it was her leg, but upon further inspection she has a very large lump in her abdomen under her back left leg. It appears to be the size of a baseball or larger. It is soft and squishy. I have an appointment to take her to the vet tomorrow, but I am apprehensive, as this particular vet has scolded me in the last about my dogs weight when she needed to lose 2 lbs. I have decided to call other vets first to find a more compassionate route if possible. I was wondering what you think this could be indicative of? What type of testing is recommended and should I be prepared to face with her? I am so scared.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on December 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Dear Christine, please get either a fine needle aspirate or a biopsy done so you can determine if the lump is the cause of the limping, or so you can check to see if there are any dangerous cells in the mass. The difficulty walking may or may not be related to this growth.
      Dr D

  43. Sarah on November 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    About a week ago i found a lump right by my dogs shoulder blade, but before i could get him into the vet the lump was gone. What could this mean?

    He is a 2 yr old Golden Retriever.

  44. Joseph on November 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Can u tell that since shes not even one yet that shell be fibe? Shes so young and such a great dog it was a redlump
    Looked like an earaser i just want to know if you think shell be ok 🙁

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger on November 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      What did the biopsy come back as?
      Dr Sue

  45. Joseph on November 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Dr my dog had a lump on her leg it looked like a big red pimple and she just had surgery and had it removed today i was just wondering if u think shell be onay shes not even 1 yeAr old yet n in real scared

  46. bailey on October 26, 2012 at 8:24 am

    My weiner dog had puppies and I got to keep one and I have noticed that he has a weird bump in his ear and he always scratches at it. If he scratches at it enough it will bleed. My vet told me its common in young dogs but I’m not really sure… And I’m getting worried…

  47. leteasha on October 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    My 3 year old chihuahua has a lump on her right side its whiteish in color looksw like there’s pus in it she acts normal hasn’t changed at all and it doesn’t hurt her at all. And it hasn’t gotten any bigger it actually looks like its getting smaller just recently another started growing partially on the side of it and partially on it but it was way smaller than my pinky nail but that one popped and it looked like a clear pus came out of it what could it be . We are trying to save up money now to take her to the vet .

  48. tanya on September 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    hi i have a pitbull and he recently just got fixed and all his needles and its been about 1 and half weeks since he got fixed and shots and i just noticed a lump on his thigh by his bum and a rash around his private area inside his thighs can somebody tell me could it be a reaction to needles or him being fixed ?//

  49. Noreen on August 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I forgot to mention that my Maltipoo is very playful, eats, and wrestles with my puppy. Could he be ok?

  50. Noreen on August 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I have a 9 year old Maltipoo who has a hard lump in the middle just below his ribs. He had other lumps too, which were soft. When I first noticed all these lumps the vet said that they were lipomas. He said to come back if they got bigger. The other ones went away, but the one in the middle of his ribs has gotten bigger. I’m very worried about him. Could it have turned dangerous?


    • Dr. Susan Ettinger on August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Hi Noreen,
      If the mass is getting bigger, I recommend an aspirate or a biopsy to determine if cancer. Good luck!
      Dr Sue

  51. Liz on August 13, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Dr. Sue,
    Thank you for the reply. His CBC came back fine – white blood count was normal, liver and kidney function was good. So I hope that is a good sign. His surgery is tomorrow so I guess we will know more soon.
    Thanks again,

  52. Liz on August 7, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Update – I don’t know if anyone is even answering this blog but I did call the vet to ask some additional questions after doing some research and she said it was NOT a mast cell tumor and not a fatty tumor but I guess something in between. Some sort of round cell tumor. I took him today to get a CBC bloodwork done so hopefully that will shed some light on things as well. I know the real answer will come with having the tumor out and having it analyzed but I am so worried I want as much info as I can get as soon as possible. I have looked at all the round cell tumors and from the descriptions it just does not seem like anything he has. It is just under the skin, just one lump, and is maybe about the size of a peanut. He does not have any symptoms related to appetite, digestion, lethargy, etc.

  53. Liz on August 4, 2012 at 4:50 am

    I just had my 7 year old lab mix to the vet for a small lump on his leg near the elbow joint. They did a FNA and the vet said she saw round cells but they were different sizes. She said because of this she couldn’t necessarily say that it was cancer but also couldn’t say it was nothing to worry about. She recommended having it removed, and his surgery is scheduled for the week after next. Can you offer any insight as to her explanation of the cells and what that means? I wish I had known what questions to ask her. I have been doing a little more research on “round cell tumors” but I still don’t have any idea what could show round cells of different sizes. Thank you for any information you can provide.

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger on August 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Round cells are a class of tumors that includes mast cell tumors, lymphoma, plasma cell tumors, to name a few. I am not sure what was meant by of different sizes, but if an aspirate is inconclusive, surgical biopsy is the next step. Good luck!
      All my best, Dr Sue

  54. sosoftail on August 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I found a lump on side of my Golden Retriever’s muzzle by accident. She was on antibiotics that were for a hematoma that had to be drained from her ear. I thought she was cheeking the pill and asked her to swallow again. She did but lump was still there so thinking she was being sneaky I pulled up her side lip and sure enough no pill. The lump felt more toward outside then inside her mouth. Did not look infected but asked vet to check it today. We both hoped it was just a cyst. He stuck it a few times. It was hard too. Nothing came out but blood and when he stopped she expressed her displeasure by making a woo woo sound at him. She goes back next week to recheck a few things that allergies are causing havoc with and he said it will bear watching. If it gets too big he will have to remove more tissue. About marble size now but I saw the look on his face and knew the worry about cancer was there. She is nearly 11. I just lost one due to cancer and heart problems and pneumonia at last few days and he had to be put down a month ago at 14. She forms a lot of fatty tumors but since the death of Ranger she is losing weight quickly. Not a bad thing since she was nearly 110 & now down to 95. Don’t know if cancer is now her problem or grief. Poor Ranger weighed 110 at death. He never lost weight with cancer. It was too aggressive and untreatable. I am very worried about Sparkle. I have 1 more Golden that weighed 86 but down to 74 since Ranger died. Are they both grieving? Guess this is two problems in one and two different dogs since I don’t count Ranger since he is dead now. Anyone know the percentage of Goldens that get cancer in one form or another with age? Don’t know if I want her to go through what Ranger did. He was a tough old guy as vet said. Refused to die or give up. But when he could no longer get up and had to belly crawl to pet door then be lifted down steps and helped back in that threw out my back as well vet said it was time. He was suffering. I can’t watch another go through that especially so soon after Ranger died. I just called back to see if they could just get some cells and check for cancer before removing it. Need to get the bill down fast. Paying about $400 per month and have been 3 years now. Down to $1100 now. Assistant told me probably not. They probably needed to remove whole thing and send it off. Really?

  55. Tanuja Parashar on August 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I have a 1 yr 3 months old black Labrador. We noticed a lump on the left side of his neck in the fold over the collar. It is painful to touch, squeeze or rub. He may have some difficulty swallowing also because he has been taking longer to finish his food these days and doesn’t eat in one go.
    A few days back he would jerk his head vigorously from side to side. got him checked for any ear infection. the doc said that he did not have an infection but it may have been excessive wax which he cleaned out. Now about 2 weeks after that this lump has appeared. what could be the possible causes? we also have another lab (golden, male) about 1 yr old and they sometimes play roughly among each other.
    So far the doc has mentioned a possibility of a laceration due to some foreign body. Hope it is nothing serious.
    Please advise

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger on August 10, 2012 at 10:12 am

      Tanuja ,
      I would start with an aspirate of the mass to see if there is an infection or inflammation. It could be a lymph node, hard to know without the exam. Follow up with your vet and good luck!
      All my best, Dr Sue

  56. Ginger on August 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    My 11 year old dog was neutered about 2 years ago.On his “saggy sac” he has a lump. It is the size of a dime in roundness.I had it looked at 1 1/2 years ago and the vet wanted to remove it but was worried about the surgery due to his kidney disease. So we agreed to just keep a watch over it and if it got any bigger or changed colors we would then consider the removal surgery. When sleeps certain ways he puts pressue on it which causes it to swell. Yesterday when I came home from work it was very swollen and extremely red. I checked it again this morning and the swelling had went down but it was still very red. Took him to the vet this afternoon and scheduled removal for Friday.Discovered he has a heart murmur. He was put on antibotics and a anti-inflammatory. When I take him on Friday morning the vet will check his heart murmur and the lump to see if it has gone down or changed back to the “normal” color. If it hasn’t then surgery will go on as planned to remove it. What should I prepare myself for if the lump is removed? What could be the possbilites about what this lump could be? Very worried about this surgery since he is a older dog with kidney issues and now a heart murmur. This is my baby and I am very upset that he has another issue. Any advice?

  57. Ann Phillips on August 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    What is the connection between vaccinations and cancer please

  58. Donna on July 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    My dog has a smooth lump, about 3/8″, on her face about 1 1/2′ below her eye. At first I thought it was an engorged tick, but I cannot see a head or legs. I could not lift any part of it with tweezers. It actually looks like it is under her skin, like a fluid type of growth. It doesn’t seem to hurt her as she let me part her fur and probe around it with the tweezers. Any ideas? Could it be a tick under her skin?

    Thanks for your advice.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on August 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      please go to the vet for proper medical care for your dog. Might be no problem, might be life threatening.
      Dr D

  59. Debbie on July 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    my dog has a fairly large rock hard lump under his chin and he has been drooling quite a bit. could it bee his tooth or something worse. im very worryed but cant take him to the vets till next month.

  60. Jan Rajah on July 4, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Hello, I am the proud owner of a 3 year (and 4 months) old black labrador retriever. He is up to date with all his vaccinations and he just had is booster.He had his booster for:

    Canine Distemper
    Canine Infectious hepatitis
    Canine Parvovirus

    in the one injection in the scruff of his neck on Monday 25 June. Would this cause a lump-like reaction in the scruff of Monty’s neck that would last over a week and a half? When i feel the lump he shows no discomfort. Monty is otherwise healthy, at the recommended weight and eating and behaving normally. Thank you for your time and expertise in answering.

  61. Karina Sierra on June 30, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Hello Dr. Dressler

    I have a 5 year old poodle and just today I realized a small bump on his left side by his chest. It’s soft and squishy and he feels no pain when I touch it. Just wondering if I should wait to see if it goes away or if it gets worse before I take him to the vet, or should I take him right away?

    Thank you
    Karina Sierra

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on July 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      Dear Karina,
      to reiterate the post…get lumps in dogs checked, don’t wait..
      Dr D

  62. Jen Hodge on June 5, 2012 at 2:25 am

    My dog boomer grew a golf ball sized lunp abive his eye. It seemed like it happened iverbight. I took him to the vet adap and they said he had a hematoma and wanted to put a drain in it and take a biopsy. A few days later lumps starting coming up on his back. Took him back to the vet for an xray. In 3 days he went from having one lump above his eye to hundreds covering his vital organs. I guess when they tried to operate on what was a tumor, not a hematoma. He died that day .fr om malignant hystyocytosis. Boomer was a 1 year old Beagle. Yes i said one!!! Dont ever think your pet is too young. That was a year agi now and its still hard to talk about. Now my purebread lab had a lump on his side. Off to the vet we go. Fingers crossed.

  63. Brittany on March 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    My dog has a lump on his side it is hard bump it was small but, slowly and gradually got a bit bigger and started getting brown spots on it kinda looks like freckles on a bump its really hard what could that be?

  64. dana holden on March 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

    my dog needs to go to ft.collins,co, to the university, for surgury to remove a cancerous tumor. i, am disabled and on a extremely fixed income. is there any kind of financial assistance available for my dog and i, out there? any guidence would be extremely greatfull. thanks so much. dana.

  65. Renee on October 27, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Thank You Very Much Dr D 🙂 🙂

  66. Mary Beth on October 27, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Hi, I have a 10+ year old female rotty who is a rescue. I’ve had her about 3 years. She has always had a small-medium type cyst on her outside hind leg. About a month ago, it ruptured…it was mosly clear, goopy fluid. I took her to the vet and he said just to watch it. It has been fine up till this past Monday when it started to fill up again. This morning it ruptured but was filled mostly with blood. I took her to the vet who recomened surgery. The cells were tested and just came back as blood. My question is: it has always been a sac filled with fluid… I dont understand what there is to remove. She does have mast cell tumors and has had two surgeries in the past 6 months to remove them (they are back and growing on her opposite let). I do not want to put her through another surgery. She has already been through so much. any advise you can give is appreciated!

  67. Renee on October 22, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Dear Dr. Dressler
    I found a marble sized lump on my 3 yr old Boxer head.
    My Vet told me that boxers are known for cancer..
    She has been very lazy,she stalls when we ask her if she has to go potty..
    She seems to get her signals crossed when shes asked to do a trick.
    For Ex: I tell her to stay she takes it as to come to me.
    If I tell her to come to me she stays…
    She sees her vet on the 1st.
    Are cancers hard?
    Or are they soft and move around when you feel it?
    I love her so Much….
    I have already lost A Springer ( unknown what happened)
    And A 14 yr old Cat that had kidney disease.
    I know I cant handle another lost of my family member…
    Thanks 🙂

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on October 26, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Dear Renee,
      you should definitely get the bump tested to see if it is cancer. Some can be removed. You cannot tell by feeling a lump if it is cancer. Have your vet test it with a fine needle aspirate or a biopsy.
      Dr D

  68. Vicki on October 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Dr. Dressler…..thank you for replying to my original question about my dog’s squamous cell carcinoma on the side of his face. You mentioned that the neoplasene treatment might be unpleasant and you recommended giving him Tramadol. I am interested in knowing if you think this treatment would be something I should consider. My hesitation is due to the location of the tumor. It’s on the right side of his face below his eye. If you ran your fingers along the side of his face where his upper teeth would be, that’s where the tumor is. It sticks out probably about 3/4 of an inch from his face. He is still not showing any signs of discomfort. Still eating, playing and acting normal. He was diagnosed in August 2011. If I chose to try this with him, what can I expect? Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.

    • Demian Dressler on October 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      Dear Vicki,
      The problem here is that we have a pretty angry cancer which is much bigger than it appears, as you are only able to see the outside.
      If we are not doing things like radiation, I do think neoplasene would be worth trying. You can always stop if he is too uncomfortable. Some dogs get inflammation and some discomfort, but most of the time it is not excruciating. I would definitely do the pain control. Don’t forget the other steps too (apoptogens, immune support, diet, anti metastatics and daily life quality increases..as always).

  69. Jamie Bernaski on September 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I took her to the vet today and had them take a sample…She told me that what they took out was what look to be puss and a small amount of blood. Also she mention at the moment there is not to much to worry about but to monitor the bump to see if it just goes away or grows.

    To send the sample away to be tested would have cost me 120 on top of the visit itself. I told her not to send it and i will monitor it the lump for any changes.

    • DemianDressler on September 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Dear Jamie,
      you did the right thing. Did they say to apply compresses? Antibiotics?

  70. Jamie Bernaski on September 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Hello, I have just discovered a small marble sized lump on the side of me 16 month old Lab/Shepard cross. I can move it around under her skin(not alot but it still moves). It is located on here right side, just after her ribs. I can see it if i look at her since she is a fit dog. Should i be making an appointment to see a vet asap. Or should I wait to see if it goes away. Since she is a fairly active dog maybe she ran into something, or who knows she’s all over the place most of the time.

    • DemianDressler on September 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Dear Jamie,
      when in doubt…check it out! Yes, have the bump tested! could be from trauma but if not you want to know.

  71. Rebecca Clanfield on September 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    A few months ago my 10 month old puppy had surgery to correct a portosystemic shunt in her liver. Unfortunately they couldn’t fix it and had to just stich her up. Just over the last week I have been monitoring a lump that has appeared next to her stiches just below her rib cage. It is growing in size quite quickly and is now a hard marble sized lump. I am planning on taking her to the vet but we are just recovering financially from her surgery and vet bills from the specialist. Other people on this site have spoken about soft fatty like lumps but my puppies is hard and feels like a marble. Just wondering if you had an insight on this?

    • DemianDressler on September 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      Dear Rebecca,
      most likely possibilities are seroma, hematoma, or abcess. Cancer is not particularly likely, but do get it checked!

  72. lee on September 13, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Hi, on the 18th july 2011 my dog (jack russell, 12yrs) had an operation to remove a cancer lump from his testicles, the vet removed the lump aswell as his testicles.
    Today 13th september 2011, we had to take him back to the vets as another lump had come, about 2″, it feels solid.
    The vet told us there is no more she can do as it has spread to the penis…how long (rough estimate) has he got left? as it has spread to his penis surely it wont be long before it gives him promlems urinating?
    I know its not easy to tell how long he has left, but in your experience how long would you say?
    hope you can help and thank you for your time.

    • DemianDressler on September 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      Dear Lee,
      it is really hard give you published numbers without knowing the kind of cancer you are dealing with. Was there a biopsy?
      Let us know
      Also, regardless of cancer type, you might consider (with veterinary supervision), dog cancer diet, apoptogens, antimetastatics, immune support, and so on to help your dog while you are waiting. More info in the Guide.

  73. Vicki on September 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I have a 9 year old ShihTzu that was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma about a month ago. He has a lump on the side of his face right below his eye. About 4 years ago he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, therefore chemo or radiation would probably kill him before the cancer does. Surgery is not an option either. To take out the lump would mean compromising his eyesight as well as 1/2 of his face. I am reading “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide” and am interested in the natural neoplasene treatment. I am also going to see his vet and his oncologist about this treatment. My question is, has anyone chosen this treatment for their dog and is it painful. Bandit (his name) is not showing any signs of discomfort at this time and is eating, playing and acting very normal. I’m looking for anyone who might have experienced this treatment and how it went for their “best friend”. Thanks for taking my question. Looking forward to hearing from anyone. 🙂

    • DemianDressler on September 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm

      Dear Vicki,
      Neoplasene can occasionally create some discomfort due to inflammation and dying tumor tissue. This can be hopefully helped with drugs like Tramadol and gabapentin if it occurs. I hope you are also using the other steps you are learning about in the Guide!

  74. Daisy Chaplin on September 6, 2011 at 6:03 am

    I was doing a little research. A fewbreeder weeks ago, while bathing my female black lab noticed a bump in her side. She stays outside durning the say and this summer we have had problems with Wasps, bees, ants etc in our area. Unlike like the paat 6 years we have been here. So I figured the was a sting since our male dachsund had a similiar lump on his groin area and the vet had diagnoised that. lump got smaller in size, and I didn’t think any thing of it. The lump is still there and has not gotten any smaller or larger. She is also suffering from dry skin due to the hot weather this summer. Could the lump be due to the heat, age (she is 8 yrs old), or is this cancerous?

  75. Chase on September 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Doesn’t anyone WONDER WHY DOGS are getting CANCER? Does anyone inspect dog food or dog drugs as causes?!?! Why are all you talking about dog cancer like it is normal, like it’s expected and nothing can be done but to hope it does not afflict your dog? It doesn’t matter if your dog food is insanely expensive, it matters what is in it. It matter if you filter your water for your dog. It matter if you give the dog food all it’s life that is made from GMO corn. Come on, people!

  76. aaron on August 29, 2011 at 4:43 am

    I noticed today my pup (whippet) has a soft lump on his left shoulder, he had hes jabs last week, gona get it checkd tomoro, bt hopefuly its what susan had ,

  77. sharon on August 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    My dog, Rosco, is 8 yrs old, a male Bichon Frise. He developed a soft lump that was soft & squishy. The vet checked it & thought was a fatty tumor, or lipoma. It continued to grow to size of a golf ball. Our vet put a syringe into it & drew out 4 syringes of blood. She sent to pathologist & came back as non-cancerous. It’s continued to grow almost back to same size.

    We’re concerned that he has cancer, but not diagnosed yet. Is there anything else that needs to be done??? Thank you for any help you may be able to offer.

  78. sammy on August 8, 2011 at 4:00 am

    hey i found a lump on my dogs belly up near her rib cage and it doesnt bother her at all even when i touch it but i dont really know what to do about it.Shes almost two years old and i want to do something before she gets two old but i dont know what it is im just wondering if its cancer.

    • DemianDressler on August 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Dear Sammy,
      maybe a trip to the vets would be worthwhile? Getting the bump tested?
      That is my best advise to you. Might be nothing serious, and if so you can relax, but if it is you want to take action promptly.

  79. Kat Haney on July 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I have a 3 year old kelpie/heeler mix. We were getting ready to leave for camping on Friday and were getting “Sampson” our dog situated before we left for the sitter when I visibly noticed a half dollar size hard lump protruding out from the side of his neck just below his jaw, on the side of his throat. I looked for any scratches or sores however there were none visible and it didnt seem to bother him in the slightest. We have four children so one could imagine the chaos with getting out of town and feel horrible to say I’m not exactly sure when it first started. I do know that previous thursday I was petting him and did not notice it then.. however It was briefly and I wasn’t really in depth so may have been here earlier. We had to leave a we had reservations for this sight and told my sitter to let me know if there were any changes in size, or if he wast eating/drinking,or seemed in pain but no call was made to us. However when we came home today (Sunday) and opened the door to his greetings I immediantly noticed lump has now increased three times bigger than it originally was and there was some hardened fur now on it and some minor balding. I’m thinking the weird “matting like fur” is from either blood, or puss, or him licking there that may hav dried. I’m no in a position financially at all to pay to take him to the vet even for a consult and have researched various low cost emergency and reg. Vets and there are none in my area. I am scared for him and hope maybe someone can give me some type of insight into what it possibly could be and how I might be able to treat him. We love him so much and I just couldn’t imagine if he passed away because I can’t take him in. Gosh I’m just so scared for him and can’t even rest thinking he’s not okay. I tHank you all and appreciate any help again.

    • DemianDressler on July 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      Dear Kat,
      one idea would be to see if there are any vets that participate in care credit, a third party payment plan service so you can split the payments up over time. Some vet practice owners might be willing to barter (trade) services.
      Dr D

  80. Rebecca Loiacono on July 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I have a 10/11ish year old (a rescue so we don’t know for sure) shepherd mix who had a grade 2 mast cell tumor removed from his hind leg in March. We did a 9-week course of pregnisone, benadryl, and Tagamet following the removal. He now has another lump — this one on his side. The vet said it could be fat (he has a tendency for fatty growths) but is concerned that it feels very embedded in the muscles around his chest cavity. She wants to do the removal, biopsy, steroid course again (if it is indeed a mast cell) so what I am wondering is (1) would this be the course of treatment you would recommend? and (2) in a dog his age, how long should I continue to remove these growth before I look to simply make him comfortable and let him live out his days? He is a formerly-abused, very nervous dog and, being that he is not young, I don’t feel that it is fair to him to be put through numerous surgeries if the cancer is sure to return. Any information you can provide is appreciated! Thanks.

    • DemianDressler on July 13, 2011 at 11:16 am

      Dear Rebecca, get a fine needle aspirate done first. What if it is fat???

  81. Laurie Sheppard on July 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Hi, I have a large dog, she’s about 11 years old…i noticed a few weeks ago a bump on her. Its on her back leg up by her tail but more on her hip thigh?
    I thought she probably had gotten bit by something we live out in the country…i watched it for about a week, and then it just opened up and oozed blood and clear liquid and all the hair came off …we took her to the vet, they suggest sugery removing it…my question, its probably cancer they can’t tell unless you do a biopsy. But i’m assuming her age and cancer is prevelant, i’m not sure what to do. The surgery is expensive, it will more than likely come back, of course theres always a chance they said that it might not. Am I really doing my dog justice by proloning the enevitable? I love her she’s our family but in years past i’ve gone through similar things only to have them die …so do i just try to get it to heal and watch her and wait until i think her quality of life isn’t there, its just the hardest decision…..help? thanks

  82. Jackie on May 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    My dog Toby is 1 and 1/2 and today I found a lump underneath his testicles. He’s been biting there lately and the ticks are very bad here, so I checked him for ticks. I found several in that area. He absolutely didn’t want me to pull them off and kept biting at it. After removing the ticks, I noticed a small perfectly round bump underneath the skin that isn’t the normal swelling after a tick bite. The skin is loose, but with the little marble sized lump inside of it. His skin also has dark splotches in that area. We are planning to take him to the vet ASAP, but are unable to for a while. I’ve been looking on the internet for tick bites that could cause the discoloration and lump, as well as cancers, but haven’t found anything that matches it. Does this sound like cancer?

    • DemianDressler on May 18, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Dear Jackie..
      unfortunately nobody, including myself, can tell if a lump in cancer online. Go ahead and stick with your plan and get your loved dog checked out by the vet.
      Dr D

  83. Cass on May 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    We have a 9.5 year old male lab that we were told had a fatty cyst on his back right side; well it has grown and we recently noticed swelling of the inner hind thigh on the same side. Thoughts?

  84. Vanessa on April 11, 2011 at 9:54 am

    My husband and I found a blood filled mass on his yellow labs chest. She has a skin problem already. He tryed to pop it with a needle but eveytime he tryed to it would just tare easyly and would dran blood. It never went down in size. What should we do.

    • DemianDressler on April 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      Dear Vanessa,
      please bring your dog in to your veterinarian for proper medical care.
      Dr D

  85. Gail on March 17, 2011 at 10:58 am

    our 9 year old beagle was diagnosed yesterday with squamous cell carcinoma of the nasal. we were told surgery is not an option and that radiation may or may not extend his life. the vet says he 3-6 months left, but i doubt that. the tumor is large and about 2″ of his bone is gone across the top of his nose more towards the left. would palladia help? would anything help him ?
    Thank you, Gail

    • DemianDressler on March 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      Dear Gail,
      There are a variety of things that can be considered to help with life quality and hopefully life extension too. They can fill a book (and actually have- the Guide). Supplements like apocaps, artemisinin, Neoplasene diluted in saline and instilled into the nostrils, K-9 Immunity with transfer factor, and the other life quality steps discussed in the book would be things I’d consider under veterinary supervision. It is always wise to get an oncologists input when you are considering chemo and radiation.
      You can use the search bar in the upper right of this page to look into these items too-
      Dr D

  86. b3ast1992 on March 7, 2011 at 6:08 am

    my dog sam is usually a wild thing! running around playing with me and my husban but lately i’ve noticed that he seems a bit off, not as playfull and a bit sluggish at times so this morning i looked his body over, seeing as how we live on a rez i just thought maybe he got hurt fighting with a stray or a wild animal, anyways so i look him over and i notice two hard lumps on both sides of his penis, sam is fixed so i knew it couldn’t be his…you know and i also noticed that the pink part that comes out sometimes [don’t know what its called] was showing a bit and there was some blood comming out of it not alot but enough to know what it was
    so here’s my question: what could it be?
    we don’t get paid till next week and the vet here will only see us if we have money right then and there
    so should i just find some money and take him or do you think it will be ok to wait another week?

    • DemianDressler on March 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm

      Sorry to hear about Sam. As you read in the blog post, we really need to have this checked out by a vet (and tested). This does not sound good at all, to be honest. Do it as soon as you can. Cancer is high on the list but we don’t know without the real facts.
      I hope this helps,
      Dr D

  87. susan on February 17, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Hi Dr D
    I have 6 shitzu pups 3 months old who got their booster DHPL plus rabies shots last week, i noticed today one had a soft lump between the shoulders, then when i checked the others 4 more had lumps of varying size in the same area. Is this normal following vaccines ? How long will they take to go

    Thanks a lot, susan

    • DemianDressler on March 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      these are likely small reactions to the vaccination and usually fade within weeks. Make sure the vet is not using leptospirosis in the vaccination.
      Dr D

  88. pat on January 16, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Dr Dressler;
    I have an 11 year old valleybull. He has some cmall cysts over his body that I’m not concerned about. He has a large soft lump reddish in color that he has had a while. It is located on his chest left side by heart. I noticed blood in the last couple of days on his bed and spots on the floor. Today it ruptured, when I went to wipe blood off it ( I thought it was a little scab like and he scratched it) it ruptured blood but not real dark red. I did not want to push out more blood; but I am unable to get to a vet for a few days. Should I try and get more blood out or just wipe it clean and see if it scabs over?


    • DemianDressler on March 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      Dear Pat,
      yes, go ahead and keep it clean as you are. Apply a little Neosporin twice daily as well. It is critical to get this bump tested at the vet’s.
      Dr D

  89. April on January 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Hi, I have a Maltese dog who’s 7 years old. I found out that she has this hard lump that’s the size of a marble and a shape of a marble(I touched and felt it). I can move it around side to side with my fingers. But my sister told me that she had it a few years ago and I just noticed it. My dad is saying that she had it for a few years, so he won’t let my dog go to the hospital. I kept telling him about the symptoms for cancers and tumors but he won’t listen to me anymore. My sister said that it was the size of a marble when she had one and it’s the same size. My Maltese doesn’t look like she’s in pain. She doesn’t go out often(about 3 times in a year?) and likes to eat little human food that’s on the ground( and I can’t even see where the food is). I don’t know if it’s a tumor or cancer. What if something did happen to her? I can’t bear this thought any longer anymore. Thank you.

    • DemianDressler on January 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

      Dear April,
      Who owns this dog?? The best idea is to get every lump checked by a veterinarian. It may be benign, but one can’t tell by looking at it.
      Dr D

  90. carissa on October 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    hey my name is carissa and i found a lump about 3 months ago on the middle of my dogs chest, it has grown signifigatley. He scratches it sometimes, could it be bening fatty tumour? is there any chance of it being cancer? it is squishy but does not cause him any pain when i push on it. could it be a fatty tumour?
    thank you

  91. Michelle Harper on September 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Took my Golden Retriever to the vet because he groans a lot. He groans when we scratch his ears or when he scratches his ears. (No infections, though) We thought that he just groaned when he stretched or laid down because humans groan when they stretch or lay down when it feels good. Got to thinking that maybe he groaned because he was in pain. Took him to the vet and she Xrayed his hips and back and he has a bad lumbar disc. It doesn’t seem to cause him pain at all. (beside the groans) We insisted on a blood test and it came back high calcium and low phosphorus with everything else completely normal. We retested 3 times to make sure there wasn’t an error. We tested for hyperparathyroidism and that came back normal. I know there are errors in lab results, so we may retest, again, as the vet has checked all of the most common places for cancer (xrays, aspirations, etc) The vet has sent all of the xrays and lab results to a group of vets she belongs to for advice on what to do next, as my dog has NO symptoms whatsoever. Waiting on that. But, I am wondering what are your thoughts on this. I did read about lumps, and he has had a lump for years on his upper back, but it hasn’t grown or anything. Called the vet and she is in an emergency, so left a message and am waiting to hear back from her. What do you think? Could the levels just be normal? The vet said no, but stranger things have happened. Also, even though Addison’s doesn’t normally have low phosphorus, we may test for that.

  92. DemianDressler on September 5, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Dear Pam,
    you are welcome!!
    Dr D

  93. DemianDressler on September 5, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Dear Chris,
    To answer your question, the pathologist will give a mitotic index, so that is usually routine on the biopsy report, along with the grade of the tumor.
    As to bad feelings like guilt, it is not your fault. Very few of us would be suspicious of a bump on a young dog like this, including many vets.
    Imaging a language you have yet to learn. Do you feel guilty? Of course not. You simply do not have the data. Before you didn’t know about this (cancer incidence), and now you do. End of story. Now get your Dog Cancer Survival Guide so you can start getting busy!
    Dr D

  94. Chris on August 31, 2010 at 5:47 am

    We found a lump our our puppy’s snout and we thought it was the result of a prick from raspberry bushes or some such thing. After it grew a bit, and 2 months later, we got it checked. It was a mast cell tumour. It was removed four days ago and we are waiting on the labs for grading. Given the position of the tumour, our vet could not get a very wide excision all around. (We wanted her to have a nose, for example.)

    Is it a matter of course for the vet to order a test for “mitotic index” as you write about in another post? Or is that something we should have requested? Too late to do so?

    Of course, we are wracked with guilt for not having acted earlier and wonder how much earlier detection would have helped.

    Our pup is 8 months old and we saw it at 5 months or so.

  95. Pam Smith on August 27, 2010 at 10:06 am

    thankyou for the information

  96. Teri on August 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Almost 4 years ago, our English Bully, Mia had an angry red lesion/bump on her lip, it intensified in redness and seemed to cause her some discomfort over a short period of time, I took her to the vet, a biopsy was done and pathology returned “nothing, clear” but I left with a very uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and returned less than a week later asking that the growth be removed. When the tissue from the excision was sent to pathology it returned as T cell lymphoma. Subsequently it spread to the lymphnode but was inoperable, chemo and radiation kept Mia in remission for three + years, we’ve recently found similar lesions on her lips and upper gum area but will not be treating with chemo or radiation. She’s 12 now actually nearly 13 and is not up for that fight! My recommendation is follow your instincts always! and always have tissue analyzed and when removing a growth even if it appears to be a “fatty tumor” ask or insist that the vet get the best possible margins he/she can.

  97. Sherry on August 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    It’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to have any suspicious lump examined and followed up on as soon as possible.
    I found a mass on the neck of our sweet little beagle (just shy of 12 years old, healthy otherwise) at the beginning of June this year (she’d had a mysterious bout of major pain in her neck 2 weeks prior, helped by Rimadyl, we thought it could have been rupture of a disc but she improved for a short time), had her looked at within days of finding this lump by a surgeon and she completely stumped the surgeon and the pathologists because this tumor came back inconclusive, but the CAT scan showed spots on her lungs, a sure sign of cancer. So during the appointment to have the mass removed they did an ultrasound of her belly to make sure they hadn’t missed anything, and there was a problem with her spleen- again, biopsy was inconclusive!
    The decision was made to remove the spleen and the neck mass and during that surgery the surgeon found another large mass in her intestine- pathology finally came back with the diagnosis of Hemangiosarcoma. We were so devastated, after reading up on and being told about this aggressive cancer.
    Less than 2 weeks of recovery from her surgery, i found a mass on her shoulder, she hadn’t even gotten the staples removed from her incisions yet.
    Life expectancy with Hemangiosarcoma is literally days. From the time she first showed signs of illness to the day she had a seizure, was just short of 2 months exactly. We had to say good-bye to our puppy 4 days after she had the staples removed from her incisions. Wish we’d had more time.
    Get lumps checked ASAP! Some get luckier than we did. I wish you all well. Thank you for reading our story, we’re still grieving.

  98. Barbara Masi on August 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I found a lump on my dog and had it looked at right away. It was taken off and sent to pathology – it came back as extraskeletel soft tissue osteosarcoma. Thank goodness I had it taken off right away. We have done more surgery to get a “wider margin” although they did feel the vet had the whole tumor. Next we will start chemotherapy. This shows the importance of visiting the vet immediately when you find a lump. This type of cancer is considered pretty rare – many vets have never seen it before – and many oncologists have only seen a few in their years of practice. Early detection is what is going to save my dog for a longer life – WE ARE GOING TO BEAT THIS MONSTER!!!!

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