Visit your Flagstone Rise Vet for any Lumps or Bumps Seen on your Dog

What should I do if I find a lump on my dog’s skin?


Pet owners should regularly check their dog’s skin for any unusual lumps or bumps. Unfortunately the most common type of cancer in dogs is found on or under the skin and there are many different types of growths that can occur, some of which are benign and some that are malignant.


If you notice your dog has developed a skin lump, either on the surface or beneath the skin, book him or her in for a consultation with your local vet Flagstone Rise at Jimboomba Vet Surgery. The vet will make a note of the position, size and consistency of the lump and may suggest a cytology test to determine the type of lump it is and whether it should be removed.




Cytology involves a fine needle aspirate which is where a needle is passed into the lump and cells pulled into a syringe, which are then transferred onto a microscope slide for analysis. If the diagnosis is a simple fatty lump or a benign sebaceous cyst, your vet will be able to tell you at the time of the consultation of the diagnosis. If the cells are unusual, your vet may wish to send the sample to an external laboratory for a veterinary pathologist to examine the slide. Results usually take 1-2 business days. Your vet can then advise you as to whether the lump should be removed surgically.




Sometimes the lump is too small or inaccessible to perform a fine needle aspiration. In these cases, it is best to have the lump either biopsied or removed under an anaesthetic. A biopsy will be performed if the lump is not able to be easily removed so that the vet can find out whether it is benign or malignant. A complete excision can be carried out if the lump is located in an area which is easily operable. Then the lump can be sent for histopathology, which is where a pathologist examines sheets of the lump’s tissue in order to make a diagnosis. This is by far the most accurate method to determine what type of lump is present. Histopathology is also useful to find out whether the surgical removal by the vet was complete.


By finding out the type of lump your dog has via cytology and histopathology, your vet can advise you on whether the lump is likely to be benign, locally aggressive or spread to other areas of the body.