Ask Dr. Anna: Lumps or bumps that you find on your pet

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It’s very important to notify your veterinarian of any lumps or bumps that you find on your pet.  Benign skin growths are common in dogs and cats but they should always be checked to make sure they are not cancerous.  In fact, benign tumors should be monitored for signs of change in color, shape and size as they can transform into a malignant tumor.  Many malignant tumors can look similar in appearance to benign tumors so it’s important to diagnose and treat early for a better prognosis.

Anna Coffin is the Veterinarian at Guthrie Pet Hospital and can be contacted at (405) 282-8796.
Anna Coffin is the Veterinarian at Guthrie Pet Hospital and can be contacted at (405) 282-8796.

If you pet has a mass, a complete physical examination should be performed and should include evaluation of the pet’s lymph nodes and checking for any other masses.  The size and location of the mass should be noted in the medical record for future reference.  Many growths can be diagnosed in your veterinarian’s clinic by taking a sample with a small needle and looking at the sample under the microscope.  This is a simple, noninvasive way to rapidly diagnose the mass.  Taking a small sample like this will not result in spread of the tumor if it is malignant.

Treatment of any mass can be easily resolved by surgically removing the mass.  If the mass is benign and you choose not to surgically remove the mass it is important to carefully monitor the mass and detect changes early.

Please e-mail me with your questions at ACoffin@aol.com and put “Ask Dr. Anna” in the subject line or mail your questions to 123 West Harrison Guthrie, OK 73044.

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