So many senior dog owners have experienced that moment of fear: you’re petting your beloved family pet, and you feel something that wasn’t there yesterday. Maybe it is a tiny bump or a large lump, but chances are it scares you, even if your dog isn’t bothered. At The Old Dog House, a senior dog rescue organization, we’ve found many lumps and bumps on our dogs over the years, and we share some helpful hints to help you understand different types of protrusions on your dog’s body.
When you discover a bump on your dog, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. Some lumps are non-life threatening like hematomas, fatty tumors, warts, pimples, skin tags or infected hair follicles. Other growths can be more serious, like cancer, so it is important to visit your veterinarian soon after discovering the lump, especially if it appeared quickly, changes in size, shape or color or affects your dog’s behavior.
Your veterinarian will look at the bump and may aspirate it, taking a small sample of tissue from the growth with a fine needle for examination under a microscope. If your veterinarian can easily determine the bump isn’t dangerous, you may be sent home with antibiotics. If your veterinarian needs to investigate the lump’s cells in more detail, he or she may order a biopsy with a slightly larger needle to collect more cells.
If your veterinarian determines the lump is cancerous, he or she will discuss treatment options such as chemotherapy or surgery. Treatment options may depend on whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of the dog’s body. Your veterinarian will also most likely talk about how effective the treatment could be and suspected outcomes of treatment.
While finding a bump on your senior dog is scary, early detection is important to keep your loving family member healthy. Check your dog regularly for lumps, bumps and other changes. Try making it fun for your pet by giving him or extra time cuddling while you look for lumps.
The Old Dog House is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Jacksonville, Florida, dedicated to giving older and senior dogs a second chance at a new life. At so many shelters, the age of a dog determines its chances of reaching the adoption floor to find a new forever home.As a result, many wonderful dogs are denied the ability to live out their lives in dignity, surrounded by love. The Old Dog House aims to enlighten the public to the joys of owning an older or senior dog through educational programs and to place rescued dogs into true forever homes through adoption programs. The dogs that come into the care of The Old Dog House will remain in our care until adopted. We rely solely on donations from the public to support our organization. 100% of donations received are used for the care and rehabilitation of the dogs at The Old Dog House. Every penny makes a difference and is greatly appreciated!