A short-haired cat looking at the camera

A new lump or bump on your pet can make even the most experienced animal lover feel on-edge. So many things can cause a bump to appear and it can be hard to know when to worry and when to just keep an eye on things.

BEEVET Animal Hospital knows that pet owners rely on us to help them to know when lumps and bumps are something to be concerned about. We hope that you will call us when you are not sure, because sometimes it can be hard to tell. 

Lumps and Bumps Explained

Perhaps the hardest part about lumps and bumps on pets is that many different causes can result in similar-looking lesions. 

As a general rule lumps, bumps, growths, and swellings are caused by:

  • Infection
  • An allergic reaction
  • A reaction to a foreign object
  • A benign growth, such as a cyst
  • A malignant growth

Although many of these things may appear similar, each one is treated very differently. Some are more concerning than others, and some may require much more aggressive care. When it comes to lumps and bumps, arriving at an accurate diagnosis is key. 

What is Normal and What is Not

Finding a new lump or bump on your pet can be worrisome, but many times they are no big deal. We should always examine the new finding, but they are not always an emergency. So how are you to know whether to make an appointment right away not?

In general, lumps and bumps need to be assessed right away if:

  • It is growing or changing noticeably
  • It is firm 
  • It is painful to your pet
  • The lump, bump, or surrounding area is red or otherwise irritated
  • Your pet has a history of cancer
  • Your pet is a short-haired breed like a Boxer, Pug, or Pit Bull Terrier
  • Your pet is acting abnormally 
  • You have a senior pet

When you come in, one of our expert veterinarians will examine the area of concern as well as the rest of your pet. Often further diagnostic testing is needed to determine what a new swelling might be.

Additionally, a sample may be taken to be evaluated under the microscope or sent to a pathologist. Many times we collect this with a fine needle aspirate. This procedure allows us to use a needle to collect cells from the area. Other times a surgical biopsy via incision or mass removal may be necessary. 

Most masses are harmless, but it’s always best to be cautious when a new one appears. Once we have a diagnosis, we can get started treating your pet. Often quick and aggressive action yields the best results when the cause is more sinister, and we are happy to guide you in deciding when to worry and when to relax.