Not all lumps on dogs are painful or cancerous. I would however recommend that if you do find a lump on your dog you should have it checked out. If you find a lump or tumor on your dog watch it closely, if the lump grows or changes quickly it is definitely time to make an appointment with your veterinarian as this may be a mast cell tumor or canine mast cell cancer.
Most common tumors on dogs are caused by either a sebaceous cyst or Lipomas. Sebaceous cysts on dogs are caused by an oil producing gland that is blocked, this blocked gland will continue to secrete oils and have no place to go thus producing a dog skin lump, this type of dog cyst is benign and your veterinarian can easily remove this type of dog bump.
Another common type of lumps on dogs are lipomas, this type of dog tumor is simply a fatty deposit under your dogs skin and is almost never cancer, often times your vet will not remove a lipoma as this fatty deposit causes no harm to your dog, your veterinarian may however remove a lipoma that has become very large and is interfering with your dogs mobility or causing any type of pain.
There are two types of dog lumps that are associated with injury. these will usually shrink as your dog heals these lumps are hematomas and abscesses. Hematomas form and fill with blood which collects near your dogs injury these will go down as your dog heals. Abscesses are pus that collects near the site of a wound and are your dogs body fighting off infection, you should watch the area closely keeping it clean while watching for signs of further infection.
Even though many of the growths on dogs are not life threatening it is important to have any dog cyst checked. Your veterinarian will use a needle to draw a sample from your dogs tumor, then analyze this sample under a microscope, determining if further tests are needed. When your vet takes this sample it is almost never painful to your dog, and often your dog will not even notice the sample is being taken, a large part of the reason you should have all dog skin lumps checked is they may be canine mast cell cancer and without taking a sample of your dogs lump this cancer cannot be detected.
Mast cell tumors and canine mast cell cancer can be difficult to recognize as they come in all shapes sizes and textures. Mast cell cancer in dogs is formed by natural mast cells in your dogs skin that have mutated.
Mast cell cancer usually is faster growing then other normal lumps on dogs so if your dog should have a lump that it growing rapidly it is imperative to get to the vet. When canine mast cell cancer is caught early it is often very curable.
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