Lumps & Bumps
Diagnosis & Treatment for Pets with Strange Lumps in Mississauga
If you’ve found a lump on your cat or dog, you probably have a lot of questions:
- What is it?
- Is it going to spread or get bigger?
- Is it malignant or benign?
- Should you be worried?
- Is surgical removal necessary?
Finding a lump or bump on your pet can be a scary experience, with potentially serious health implications.
Fortunately, we can perform some simple procedures that will give us more information about the lump. Having a firm diagnosis can help to ease your mind, and is essential for determining what needs to be done next.
What Could the Lump Be?
Different kinds of bumps and lumps may have the same outward appearance, but they occur due to a variety of reasons.
Growths may be caused by:
- Infectious agents – bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses
- Allergies – insect bites, dietary factors, drugs
- Abnormal reactions to sunlight
- Physical and chemical agents
- Hereditary factors
- Benign conditions of the skin (cysts)
- Neoplastic (cancerous) in origin
Here are some important points to consider:
- Appearance of growths
- Duration of growth
- Itchiness of growth
- Distribution of growths
- Change in growth since onset
- Age and breed of your pet
- Is your pet neutered or intact?
The history of the growth can be helpful to help identify the nature of it.
What Do I Need To Do?
You must bring your pet to the veterinarian to get the lump examined and diagnosed. You cannot know about a lump until it is examined microscopically.
We use fine needle aspiration (FNA), which involves taking a sample from the lump with a needle and syringe. This is usually done without sedation or a hospital stay.
Typically, we will send the lump sample to the pathologist at the laboratory for microscopic analysis (to characterize the tissue sample).
This test will identify the cause of the growth in approximately 90% of the tissue samples examined.
Does My Pet Need Surgery?
Whether your pet needs surgery to remove the growth will depend on the outcome of the diagnosis.
A malignant mass must be surgically removed as soon as possible in order to limit the potential for metastasis (spread locally or through the body).
It is always best to remove and identify growths which even have the potential for malignancy, or growths that could not be completely identified by fine needle aspiration. Once removed, the growth can be positively identified to know what may need to be done next.
Other Reasons for Surgical Removal
We will also remove benign growths due to:
- Rate of growth
- If they bleed
- If they become infected
- Cosmetic reasons (occasionally)
As you know, the sooner that you act, the more that can be done to help your pet.
A diagnosis will help you to decide the course of action, or will simply give you peace of mind if the lump is benign.