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Lumps on Dogs: What They Could Mean and When to Worry | Pupford

December 28th, 2023

Filed under Health + Wellness

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As a devoted dog parent, it is not uncommon to be alarmed by the discovery of a lump or bump when petting your dog.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the various reasons your dog may develop lumps, what they could signify, and crucially, when it’s time to consult with your veterinarian.

Here’s what we will cover:

  1. Understanding the Different Types of Lumps
  2. When to Raise Concerns


Dogs, like humans, can develop lumps for a variety of reasons. These can range from harmless fatty masses to more serious issues such as tumors. Dog parents need to be aware of the different types of lumps and their potential implications.

There are seven main types of lumps:


Lumps on Dogs What They Could Mean and When to Worry

Lipomas are among the most common lumps found in dogs. These soft, movable masses are generally benign and are often found just beneath the skin.

They are most commonly found in older dogs who are overweight. While lipomas are generally harmless, it’s crucial to monitor them for any changes in size, shape, or texture.

Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are another common type of lump in dogs. These cysts typically result from blocked oil glands and often appear as small, raised bumps on the skin. They are most commonly seen in dogs with fine hair. While sebaceous cysts are usually harmless, they can become infected if not properly managed.

Skin Tags

Similar to warts, skin tags are small, soft growths that hang off the skin. They are generally harmless but may be removed for cosmetic reasons or if they become irritated.


puppies can get warts

Warts are caused by viral infections and can appear as small, raised growths on the skin. This type of growth is most commonly found in puppies. While are typically benign, it’s essential to monitor for changes and consult your veterinarian if needed.


Abscesses are pockets of pus that can form beneath the skin’s surface. They often result from bacterial infections, insect bites, or wounds that have become infected. While abscesses can be painful and require veterinary care, they are typically treatable with proper medical attention.

Button Tumors

Button tumors, also known as histiocytomas, are generally benign and commonly found in younger dogs under 3 years of age. They often resemble small, button-like growths on the skin and typically resolve on their own.

Mast Cell Tumors

On the more serious side of the spectrum, mast cell tumors are a type of skin cancer that can affect dogs. These lumps can vary in appearance, from small, raised nodules to larger, ulcerated masses. Early detection and prompt veterinary attention are crucial for effective treatment.


old dog at the vets office

While many lumps are harmless, certain signs should prompt immediate veterinary attention. These signs include:

  • Rapid Growth: Sudden enlargement of a lump may indicate a more aggressive or malignant tumor. Quick action is necessary for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Changes in Texture or Consistency: Any alteration in the lump’s texture, such as becoming harder or irregular, should be investigated promptly. These changes may signal a shift in the lump’s nature and require further examination.
  • Ulceration or Bleeding: Lumps that ulcerate or bleed may indicate an infection or a more advanced stage of disease. Seek veterinary advice immediately if you notice such changes.
  • Behavioral Changes: Monitor your dog’s behavior for signs of discomfort, pain, or changes in usual activities. Lumps causing discomfort may need immediate attention.

Discovering a lump on your dog can be unsettling, but informed action is key. Regularly check your dog for any unusual lumps, including warts, skin tags, and button tumors. By regularly checking for new growths and taking your dog to the veterinarian annually for checkups, you can hopefully catch new growths early. Early detection and timely intervention can make a significant difference in your dog’s quality of life.


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