For dog owners and lovers, seeing their pet dogs can be a joy in and of itself. Healthy pets are usually able to provide better companionship to their owners. This is why it is also understandable that pet owners can get rather distressed if they notice something wrong with their pet dog. One such health condition includes hard lump on dog. These tumors can be quite worrisome as some of these pet owners may view these lumps or tumors as something cancerous. But are these lumps and tumors cancerous? How can these issues be treated? In this article, we look at the different types of lumps on dogs and the possible treatment options for them. Read on to find out more!
Lumps on Dogs: A General Overview
One of the most distressing and worrying vet diagnosis would most certainly be that a dog has a tumor that has been confirmed as cancerous. This is because cancer is one of the leading causes of death in dogs and is fairly common. According to an organization focused on cancer research said that out of the 65 Million pet dogs in the US, around six (6) million will develop cancer every year. The College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia found in 2011 that for older pet dogs, the cause of death that is most common is cancer. It was also noted that out of 82 breeds studied, 71 dog breeds are also at high risk for developing cancer.
An assistant professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Erika Krick, states that cancerous tumors will often be accompanied by wounds on the skin that won’t get well or unexplained weight loss. Dogs, though, also have a lot of bumps and lumps that are classified as non-cancerous or benign. Those who will note something different in the body of their dogs should immediately set an appointment with their veterinarian. It is important that as an owner you what is happening to your dog and that it is diagnosed while the lump is still small. Not all dog tumors lead to cancer but each one should be checked by a vet.
Hard Lump on Dog: Different Types And Remedies
Below are some of the types of hard lums on dog and the possible treatment options for each one:
1. Mast Cell Tumors
These mast cell tumors are some of the most common tumors found in the skin of canines. Mast cell tumors can quickly get itchy, turn red, and can grow quite rapidly. This is because the aforementioned tumors have in them histamine, a form of chemical that is linked with allergies and itching. Dogs suffering from such tumors may also suffer from ulcers in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract due to histamine signaling the stomach to produce even more acid.
Dogs that are short-faced which include French Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boxers have an increased risk for developing this type of tumor. Chinese Shar-Peis are more prone to aggressive types of tumors but the short-faced breeds mentioned earlier can get less aggressive and lower grade tumors. The risk factor for most tumors are usually linked with old age in dogs but for mast cell tumors, there seems to be no link at all. Treating mast cell tumors will require aspiration using a needle that is fine which is used in the retrieval of cell samples to specifically diagnose which type of tumors affected the dog. The tumor will then be removed via surgery.
Lipomas are fatty tumors that are usually benign. These tumors are quite common and it was also noted that various dog breeds may be affected by this specific lump. Lipomas are masses that can feel soft and can be moved around underneath the dog’s skin. They are not a major health risk and they can come in varying sizes. Similar to mast cell tumors, a fine needle is used to confirm if the lipoma is indeed benign. Lipomas will also only be surgically removed if they become a bother.
This is a form of cancer of the bones for dogs and some of the breeds that are most susceptible to this kind of health condition include bigger or larger breeds of dogs such as Great Danes and Greyhounds. Dogs that are diagnosed with this kind of cancer will usually drop by the vet because they are already limping. It is also common adverse effects are experienced in the bone or certain bones of the spine. To ensure that the condition is indeed osteosarcoma, an X-ray needs to be conducted. If the diagnosis of cancer is confirmed, then the treatment to go for would be amputation before going to chemotherapy.
These kinds of lumps develop via the immune system and are most commonly observed in younger dogs and those that are aged three years old and is more common in dog breeds such as Chinese Shar-Peis, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Greyhounds, Scottish terriers, and English Bulldogs. Histiocytoma is commonly noncancerous and will not spread to the body’s other parts or portions.
These lumps will also resolve on their own after a few months but if it becomes rather bothersome for the dog, then surgical removal may be recommended by the doctor. Histiocytoma is also called button tumors due to their physical characteristics such as hairless, raised, red, and small (commonly not more than one inch).
This kind of lump is also known as blood vessel cancer and can mostly be observed affecting the spleen of the pet. Once the lump gets ruptured, the gums of the dog will become pale, it may also experience breathing difficulties and may also find it hard to get up. To get a definitive diagnosis, an expert may need to retrieve some tumor tissue. This will usually be done after surgery to have the spleen taken out and to address the bleeding.