Dogs can develop lumps in any part of the body and with a variety of characteristics. Although benign (non-cancerous) lumps and bumps predominate, some of them can be malignant (cancerous). The likelihood that your dog will develop cancerous tumours increases with age. The good news is that treating and finding malignant tumours early can improve recovery rates.

Images Credit : Rita Rojas

The definition of lumps in dogs, the various forms of lumps, their primary characteristics, and their diagnosis and treatment are all covered in the AnimalWised article that follows.

Dog Lumps: Different Types

Unspecific clinical changes like lumps or elevations on a specific body area might have a wide range of causes. They can appear at any position on the dog’s body, at different depths, be concentrated in one area, or be scattered in different patterns. Age, breed, distribution, and type of lesions are all crucial factors in the diagnosis and treatment of lesions.

Dog lumps can be broadly classified into two types:

Non-cancerous, also known as benign.

Malignant is another word for malignant.

various canine benign tumours

The following forms of benign lumps can be identified:

Warts: Usually found on the lips and skin, they are more common in puppies, older dogs, and immunocompromised canines. Frequently benign, they go away on their own.


Image Credit : PaintpotsandDaydreams

Sebaceous cysts are rather common and are brought on by a blockage of the skin’s sebaceous glands. On your dog’s body, sebaceous gland cysts can appear anywhere. Sebaceous cysts commonly develop on the skull in very young canines. The head, neck, chest, and upper limbs are the most often affected areas in dogs of all ages.

Lipomas are benign tumours or cysts brought on by the buildup of fat. In dogs, fatty tumours known as lipomas are fairly typical. 

Dogs can develop abscesses, which are pus-filled areas of the body that typically appear on the skin, in the mouth, between the toes, or in the body cavity. They are excruciatingly uncomfortable and might give the animal a fever.

canine cancerous lump types

Here are some of the most typical malignant lumps:

Mastocytoma: This tumour is highly prevalent in various breeds, including the Boxer, Golden, and Labrador Retriever. Mast cells, which are blood cells, create these tumours.

Another blood tumour that affects the skin is hemangiosarcoma. Although the tumour can also develop in the heart or spleen, it usually manifests as little red or black nodules on the skin or internally. It is an aggressive neoplasm that spreads.

Another tumour with a dubious prognosis that affects connective tissue rather than the skin is fibrosarcoma.


Image Credit : Janneke

Mammary tumours: Although they are uncommon in male dogs, these tumours are found in the mammary gland of female dogs rather than the skin. Mammary gland tumours come in a variety of forms, some of which are more dangerous than others. Mammary carcinoma, on the other hand, is more prevalent, spreads quickly, and can metastasis to other organs, such the lungs.

As you can see, lumps or nodules on dogs‘ skin are rather typical and typically not harmful. However, it is advised to speak with a veterinarian to have the lump’s nature and appearance examined and, if necessary, removed.

causes of dog lumps

As was previously noted, lumps in dogs are frequent lesions with a wide range of etiologies, presentations, and stages of development. There are numerous causes for a lump to develop on your dog, the most frequent of which are as follows:

Vaccines and other injections: When a vaccination is given or a fluid (such as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, etc.) is injected, there could be a local reaction and the area could become inflamed. After some time, the inflammation goes away, yet occasionally a material may encapsulate and the lump stays. For instance, 15 days after receiving rabies vaccination, it’s typical for a lump to emerge and then vanish at the injection site.

Any type of stroke may result in inflammation at the injection site, particularly if a minor hematoma forms.

Infected wounds can result in huge pus-filled masses. They resemble a soft mass that seems to be filled with fluid (abscess). It is vital in these situations to open the abscess and get rid of the entire infection.

Bee or spider stings can result in localized discomfort and swelling.

Tumours: Although not all skin tumours are malignant, they are also fairly frequent, especially in older animals and some breeds. Other times, despite their appearance (lipomas, breast tumours, etc.), these lumps are not skin-related.

identification of tumours in dogs

An proper differential diagnosis depends on the age, sex, and placement of the lumps. To identify the sort of lump or bump on your dog and the appropriate course of therapy, your veterinarian will do one or more tests.

First and first, the lumpy areas should be seen and felt since the distribution pattern and consistency of the lesions, as well as their adherence to deep levels or superficiality, can help with a preliminary diagnosis.

Using the fine-needle aspiration technique, the doctor can identify the cell types included in the nodules and distinguish between inflammatory cells, bacteria, or neoplastic cells, among others, by puncturing the nodules, sampling them, and performing cytology on them.

To identify the pathogens present, microbiological cultures should be used in addition to this procedure.

Histologic examination of biopsy samples taken while the patient is sedated enables diagnosis and prognosis of the patient.

If you want to understand more about canine cancer, including its various forms, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments, check this other article.

My Dog Has a Lump: Types of Dog Lumps and How to Diagnose Dog Lumps

treatment for canine lumps

The treatment plan is based on the first diagnosis. 

It is important to consider the patient’s age and whether therapy is actually necessary, as certain lesions, like papillomatosis nodules, do not call for a particular course of action.

The main objective of therapy is to deal with the pathology’s root cause.

There are several treatment options for malignant tumours, including surgery, chemotherapy in combination with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy alone, and immunotherapy.

Anti-inflammatory and antibiotic treatments should be given to treat both the clinical symptoms and the underlying cause of cysts and abscesses once the contents have been extracted, the area has been cleaned, and the area has been disinfected.

The proper dermatological treatment should be administered for nodules brought on by allergic responses or direct skin lesions, including washing, disinfection, nutritional supplementation, and even corticosteroid therapy.