Health Topics  >  Skin and Coat

Lumps and Masses (on or under the skin)

Skin lumps, bumps and masses can be scary, because we often think of cancer. While that is one of the possibilities (especially in an older dog), there are usually other more common (and less nefarious) causes. These include lipomas and sebaceous cysts, among others. Similar to humans, there are a variety of skin growths, warts and moles that can appear in dogs which need further investigation to diagnose properly.

While lumps are generally not emergencies, you should see a vet so they can properly identify and treat them. 

Flags that should draw your attention include: 

  • A fast growing lump
  • A mass that changes color and/or texture, 
  • A mass with discharge
  • A painful lump

Most masses are unlikely to resolve on their own, so if you notice any of the list above, contact your veterinarian.

Pro tips for visiting the veterinarian:

  • Take note of details about your dog’s lumps regularly: Where is it? When did you first notice it? What does it look like and feel like? How big is it? In particular, noting any changes in the lumps will be useful for veterinarians.
  • If you want to ‘wait and see,’ consider contacting a veterinarian if the mass is getting larger, if your dog is irritated by the mass, and if there is discharge.

References for Lumps and Masses (on or under the skin)

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