Found a lump on your pet? It’s always worth checking it out says Becky Robinson of Severn Edge Veterinary Group – but don’t assume the worst.
Over the last few weeks we’ve seen quite a few pets brought in with lumps and bumps, so I thought I’d share a few insights, as a lump can be one of many things. Sometimes it will be nothing to worry about, but occasionally it will be a sign of something nasty.
We recently had a beautiful six-year-old black Labrador named Jet brought into our branch. Her owner had noticed a lump on her side which was getting bigger. It had started relatively small but the lump had progressed to being about the size of a tennis ball.
With many lumps, it’s not possible for a vet to tell exactly what it is by look and touch alone. In such cases, we take a small sample with a needle and look at it under a microscope in a laboratory, and this usually tells us the cause.
This can normally happen without having to put the dog under anaesthesia, and more often than not they don’t even notice that we’ve taken a sample.
Back to Jet: she was good as gold when I took a sample of her lump – she didn’t even flinch! When I looked at it under the microscope, I could see it wasn’t just a fatty lump (a lipoma) so I sent the slide off to the lab to tell me exactly what the cells were. The laboratory identified it as a cancer, and one that could potentially spread. As a result, I knew that the lump had to come off and I had to be sure I removed the whole thing to prevent it coming back.
Jet was booked in for surgery the following week and I’m pleased to say it was a success. When Jet and her owner visited to have her stitches checked, she looked great, and she can now look forward to many years of a happy, healthy life ahead.
So please remember: if your furry friend develops a lump or bump, take them to your vet as soon as you can. Hopefully it will be nothing, but if it isn’t then they will need to act quickly, as we did for Jet.