One of the more common complaints from owners is a new bump that has appeared on their pet. So what’s next?
Whenever a new lump is found on a pet, our recommendation is to come in for an exam as soon as possible. Even though some lumps can be absolutely nothing to worry about, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.
There are many different types of lumps and bumps that can appear on our pets. Some examples are cysts, lipomas (fat lumps) and skin tags. These are typically not a “big deal” in the world of masses. There are some masses though where we do worry about malignancy and spread such as spindle cell tumours, round cell tumours and mast cell tumours. It is because of these “scary” masses that we encourage owners to come in right away if they find a new lump on their pet. The sooner they are treated, often the better the prognosis.
When checking the mass, there are a few options for diagnostics that will give us an idea of what kind of mass we are dealing with:
1) Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA)
With this procedure, the veterinarian will take a sample from the lump with a needle and look at the contents under the microscope. The sample may be examined at in clinic or sent out to a reference laboratory.
2) Surgical Biopsy/Excision
For this option, the animal would have to be put under general anesthetic (or in some cases of small lumps, heavy sedation) to have a portion or the entirety of the mass removed. An advantage of this approach is that the mass can be sent to a histopathology lab to confirm the type of mass, prognosis and if appropriate margins have been taken if the mass was excised.
Worried about a lump on your pet? Make an appointment with your veterinarian today!
Written by Jessica Sirovyak, CCR/RAHT