Vail Pet Talk column: What to do with lumps and bumps in dogs |

Vail Pet Talk column: What to do with lumps and bumps in dogs

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There you are, loving on your dog after a long day at work when all of a sudden you feel an odd bump that you’ve never felt before.

Before you get too nervous, take a deep breath. As dogs age, they can get lumpy. There are a number of different reasons a lump may show up, so when one does, it’s time to visit your veterinarian.

When an owner presents their pet for an exam regarding a lump, I commonly ask these types of questions: How long has it been there; has it grown or changed in color since you noticed it; and does it seem to be bothering your pet?


Not all lumps are dangerous, but it’s important to remember that there are some that are.

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One of the most common types of lumps you will see are fatty tumors — or “lipomas.” These are typically benign tumors that do not spread to other places in the body but can grow larger with time. Depending on the location or size, your veterinarian may recommend that it be removed.

Other types of benign tumors include warts and sebaceous cysts.


Soft tissue sarcomas and mast cell tumors are common types of malignant tumors (think skin cancer). They can be very invasive locally as well as to the rest of the body.

It’s possible to remove these tumors. It’s also possible that your veterinarian will recommend additional testing to be sure there isn’t evidence of them spreading disease to the rest of the body.

All in all, it’s important to remember that no lump is too small to warrant a visit to the veterinarian to have it checked. We are always willing to check it out so that your pet can remain as healthy as possible.

Sheila Fitzpatrick, DVM, owner of Mountain Mobile Vet and The Animal Hospital Center, submitted this column. You can reach her at 970-328-7085.

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