Call The Animal Hospital of Sullivan County Today!
In conclusion, you should worry about every new bump and lump on the body of your pet. It could be a cancerous lump. It could be a lump that can cause harm to your pet.
If you notice any lump or bump on your cat or dog, no matter how small it is, don’t hesitate to bring the pet to Animal Hospital of Sullivan County. We are here to serve you and your furry friends. Making sure your pets receive the highest quality of care is our number one priority. Give us a call today if you would like to learn more about lumps and bumps, give us a call and our friendly staff will be able to assist you.
When it comes to cancer, early detection is the key to successful treatment. The first step in diagnosing any new lump or bump is to perform a fine needle aspiration, or FNA. This simple procedure allows your veterinarian to determine the nature of the growth by collecting a sample of cells and viewing them under a microscope. Keep in mind that malignant masses are not painful therefore the only definitive way to know whether a growth is cancerous is to examine the cells.
Occasionally, an FNA does not provide enough information and a biopsy is also needed. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), while an FNA can provide basic information about the tumor type and identify certain types of cancer, a biopsy “is often necessary to confirm the diagnosis and help determine if the neoplasm (abnormal mass) is benign or malignant.” This procedure involves collecting a small tissue sample and sending it to a laboratory for examination.
When to worry about lumps on pets
Have you ever had a strange lump appear on your pet?
Earlier this week, one of my coworkers came to me with a picture (on her phone)В of a lump that appeared overnight on her dog. She wanted me to take a look at it and let her know if her dog needed to be seen. As you can imagine, diagnosing a bump with a picture on a phoneВ is not exactly an easy thing to do. The situation did, however, bring up a great question: when is a bump and/or lump something to worry about?
Although it seems like this topic should be straight forward and simple, this is medicine вЂ“ few things are ever that simple! Regardless, letвЂ™s take a moment and tackle this very broad subject together.
Imagine petting your dog or cat and finding a lump, something you hadn’t noticed there before. Feeling alarmed, you turn to an online search engine, which yields lots of scary diagnoses: cancer, tumor, cyst, fatty mass.
What does this all mean? And which condition does your pet actually have?
According to Dr. Dana Connell, a third-year veterinary oncology resident at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, the best action for pet owners to take in this common scenario is seeking veterinary advice.
A malignant tumor may require aggressive treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, according to Dr. Dana Connell, a third-year veterinary oncology resident at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana.
The size of a mass varies, depending on what it is made of and how long it has been on the pet. Masses are seen commonly in both dogs and cats, but the tendency in practice is to see more dogs. Any breed of dog or cat may develop a mass.
What Is It?
It is important to determine what the lump is so that it can be treated appropriately.
Different types of masses will have different consistencies. Those that are fatty in nature will be underneath the skin, soft, and freely movable. Other masses can be hard and immovable.
“The pet’s age may provide an indication of what the lump is,” Dr. Connell says. For example, a young animal is more likely to have an abscess, cyst, or trauma manifest as a lump. A veterinarian will take into account how old the patient is and how long the mass has been there.
“Usually the first step for a diagnosis is to perform a fine-needle aspirate,” explains Dr. Connell. During this procedure, a thin needle is inserted into the mass to collect cells. The cells are then placed on a slide and examined under a microscope. Some mass types, such round cell tumors and carcinomas, are easily identifiable with a fine-needle aspirate.
If this procedure does not yield a diagnosis, then a biopsy is often the next step. During a biopsy, a small section of the mass is removed for testing. A biopsy can be done under local anesthesia or full general anesthesia, depending on the animal’s temperament and what the veterinarian determines to be the safest method.
“If neither of these procedures provides a conclusive diagnosis, your veterinarian may recommend a CT scan,” Dr. Connell says. CT stands for “computed tomography,” an imaging method uses a computer to generate a three-dimensional representation of the body from a series of X-rays. This imaging option provides a clearer picture of more invasive lumps and is especially useful for surgical planning and staging. This can be used in addition to the biopsy.
“After we determine what the mass is, we can discuss treatment options with the owner,” Dr. Connell says, “A lot of times owners are afraid to come to the veterinarian after they’ve found a lump because they fear it is cancer and a death sentence for the pet.”
The truth is, having the pet examined as soon as the lump is found will give the pet the best chance at a healthy life.
A tumor can either be benign or malignant. If benign, the veterinarian will likely advise the owners to monitor the lump to check for any changes or growth. If the animal becomes bothered by the lump, then it could be removed. A malignant tumor will require more aggressive treatment tailored to the individual animal. For some masses, the tumor can be removed with surgery, which may be followed with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
“In June the Veterinary Teaching Hospital began offering radiation therapy with a state-of-the-art linear accelerator that delivers a high degree of precision. That means it targets tumors and spares nearby healthy tissue,” explains Dr. Connell. “We now have the most advanced technology for veterinary radiation cancer treatment in the Midwest.”
Dr. Connell’s main advice for owners is to seek expert opinions from a veterinary professional as soon as possible. “Accurate information is empowering, whereas the volume of information and potential diagnoses found online can be overwhelming.”
If you have questions regarding a lump or bump on your pet, contact your local veterinarian.