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Pea sized lump.

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden
Age: 6-12 months
Hi Dr.

This morning I noticed a pea-sized lump on one of Max's ribs on the left side, mid body

It's beneath the skin. It's on the underlying tissue. It can be moved a little but bounces back in a rubbery fashion.

We went walking in the woods yesturday but I think it's still too cold for insects.

He's oblivious to it.

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there Jay...any chance of getting a photo? Or are you only able to feel it and not see it?

Is it red? Painful? Hard or soft?



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Customer reply:

lump feels hard.
Nothing on the skin itself. He does not seem to mind if I palpate it.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There are lots of possibilities for this. The chances of it being something serious are very small.

It could be a tiny wart or cyst. If this is the case it may get bigger.

It could be that he got a little piece of something in there such as a tiny sliver or splinter. If this is the case it may go away on its own. Or, it might open and drain and possibly need some antibiotics to clear up.

While a tick could possibly bite him, the time of year is not right and you really shouldn't see a swelling with no irritation or no obvious tick after just one day.

I remember that before Max had a little lump at the site of a vaccination. Sometimes we do give vaccines on the side of the chest. It's possible he has had a small vaccine granuloma there for a while and it is in the process of getting smaller.

I would say the chances of it being a cancerous tumor or something serious are less than 1 per cent.

But, if it is getting larger or bothersome then it's time for another trip to his doctor!



Customer reply:

He's had no vaccination in months.

Is it common for a puppy to have a nodule or cyst like this?
Would a wart be attached to the rib? The mass itself is totally unconnected to the skin/subcut layers.

Unrelated. Is there a good way to stop a dog from counter surfing. Ive taken everything off the counters but still hes curious. Im concerned his hips may be taking a beating.

Thanks,

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I wouldn't say it is common for a puppy to have a nodule in an area like this, no.

Hmm...so it feels attached to the rib. That doesn't sound like a wart then. I really don't know what that could be.

It's not uncommon for part of the rib to have a bony sort of knob at the end, but this would be something that would have been there since birth and would be really hard and larger than what you have described.

My guess is that it is a small foreign object (i.e. splinter) that has set up a micro abscess. Most likely it will go away on its own, but again if it's getting larger or bothersome then I'd get it checked out.

I like the term "counter surfing". I've seen some dogs that have gotten into a lot of trouble from the things they have picked up off of the counter - i.e. uncooked pizza dough. I can't see this affecting his hips though.

I have a few ideas to stop it.

One would be to temporarily put some double sided tape along the edge of the counter. Dogs don't like the sticky feel.

The next would be to watch him in secret and every time he goes to do it make a loud noise. An example of this would be a product called the Pet Corrector. Then, whenever you see him trying to get on the counter, you release the Pet Corrector. (I believe it is a canister of compressed air).

You can also buy similar things that are automated such as a ScatMat. These things are pretty neat. They release a very small shock whenever the animal steps on it. It doesn't hurt the animal at all but they really don't like it. The only problem is that if you have lots of counter space you may possibly need a couple of matts on the floor to do the trick.



Customer reply:

He has so much fur on him, and so much loose skin I can't see anything making it's way that far down to lodge against the rib.

I'm guessing it may be a cyst or benign mass. Which concerns me because I dont know how this bodes for future immunological issues.

I will let you know.

And the double sided tape idea is genius! I will try it.

Thanks,

Jay


Customer reply:

Vet said possible lipoma. If this is what it is is it common for nine month old dogs? Does it foretell future growths?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Interesting. While a lipoma is nothing to worry about, it's a little bit unusual on such a young dog. If it is a lipoma he may get more of them later on in life, but they are more of a cosmetic issue than a health issue.



Customer reply:

Is there a correlation between them and cancers?

My previous dog developped one at 12 yrs old that grew very slowly


Customer reply:

The vet didn't seem in any rush to diagnose it. Said he wasnt worried at this piont .Realistically because he's so young to have a lump is it worth aspirating it? Or am I over doing it?


Customer reply:

The vet didn't seem in any rush to diagnose it. Said he wasnt worried at this piont .Realistically because he's so young to have a lump is it worth aspirating it? Or am I over doing it?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry for the delay Jay...I had an email issue. There really isn't a connection between lipomas and cancer. In theory there is such a thing as a liposarcoma which is a cancerous fat growth, but in 12 years of practice I have never seen one...and I see lipomas every day.

I would not bother aspirating this unless it is getting much larger or bothersome.



Customer reply:

Sounds good. Just seems unusual in a puppy. It may be connected to our walk in the forest this weekend.

Have a good night.


Customer reply:

Hi,

Just thought you might be curious.
The vet who said it was a lipoma was a stand in vet.
Not satisfied with a lipoma (not even in the right location) on a puppy I went today to get it aspirated.

Regular vet said it was a fibroid mass connected to the muscle by a filament. Benign and not likely to grow. That made total sense.

Jay



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Interesting...a "fibroid mass" is a pretty vague diagnosis though. Wonder why it is there. It really doesn't sound likely to be a bother though!



Customer reply:

Its too small to aspirate. And the vet said from the location it's "100% benign and unlikely to grow".

I will just keep an eye out. Another chapter in my book.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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