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Lump on dog's belly.

Species: Dog
Breed: American Cocker Span
Age: 5-8 years
Hi Dr. Marie

I have a 5 year old Cocker Spaniel female - spayed when she was a puppy. Tonight as my husband was petting Zoe, he found a lump size of a pea to the right of her breast bone. He said it felt hard, but Zoe did not show any discomfort. She continues to have a healthy appetite and active. Is this something we need to have our Vet check out?

Lisa


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Lisa,

It's always tough to answer lump questions over the internet! Keep in mind here that I can't make a diagnosis for you, but I'm going to ask you some questions that may help us decide whether a vet should take a look.

-What color is the lump? Is it the same color as the rest of her skin or does it look a darker red, or a different color?

-Is it uniform in consistency? (i.e. does it feel like a smooth lump or is it lumpy and irregular feeling?)

-If you squeeze it a little does it feel like anything could come out of it?

Thanks...I will be online for about 20 minutes more tonight (till about 10:10 EST) but I'll check on your question in the morning if necessary.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

We are unable to determine color because it is under the skin. The lump is uniform in shape and will not discharge when squeezed. When skin is pulled up feels like lump is in the fascia.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

OK. This is a toughie!

There is a good chance that this could be something very benign such as a lipoma. A lipoma is just a fat lump and is absolutely nothing to worry about.

However, because the lump is on Zoe's belly, I would actually suggest that you have it checked out. If it's not a lipoma then it is possible that this is a mammary tumor. The good news is that mammary tumors are not common in dogs who were spayed before their first heat cycle.

Your vet will likely do a fine needle aspirate where they put a small needle into the lump to determine if it is fat or if it actually is a tumor. If it is a tumor, then unfortunately, for mammary tumors, it is difficult to determine if the tumor is cancerous or benign just by doing a fine needle aspirate. So, if the vet thinks it is a tumor they will likely suggest removing it. Once the lump is removed then they can send it away and find out if you need to be worried.

It is also possible that this is a sebaceous cyst which is nothing at all to worry about.

Once again, the odds are in your favor that this is nothing serious. But, because mammary tumors can be quite serious I would have this checked out. With most mammary tumors, even if it is a malignant tumor, if we can remove them when they are still small then most dogs do well.

I hope everything is ok!



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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.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.