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Lump on dog's leg.

Species: Dog
Breed: Queensland Heeler Mu
Age: 5-8 years
Hi Dr. Marie!

Spanky is 5 years old and very healthy. His energy is good and, as far as I can tell, there is nothing wrong with him except for occasionally itchy/dry skin. I adopted him from a shelter in Colorado when he was just under 1 1/2 years old.

He's had a very small bump just to the inside and underneath his right hock (kind of like the knee of his hind leg - in case I'm using the wrong dog anatomy jargon!)

The bump itself is about 1/8th of an inch in diameter and perfectly round. It used to be covered in a kind of black/grey "skin" much like the skin of a dog's nose only rougher and not wet. He's had it for at least 2 1/2 years and it has never bothered him in the least until very recently.

In the last month, he started chewing on it a lot and/or licking it. From the very center of the bump, it started to bleed just a tiny bit. It seems like, now, what he did was lick off the black/grey "skin" and what is currently exposed is a whiter/shinier bump. The size of the bump has not changed at all and he has stopped licking it/chewing on it.

I don't take him to a vet regularly as I'm on a self-employed massage-therapist's income and, as a holistic healer, I strongly prefer to use plants and natural medicines for healing - both for him and myself. I would, of course, take him to a vet if there was an emergency... but I'm hoping you don't tell me to take him to a vet over this issue if it's something that is harmless and/or something I can take care of with natural medicine.

I've taken a picture of the bump and can send that to you in another email. Thanks for your time, Dr. Marie!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. You've done a very good job at describing the lump but I think seeing a picture really would help. You can email photos to photos@askavetquestion.com.

Thanks!

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.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for the photos. Spanky is a good looking dog!

I've included one of your images here:

lump on dog's leg

It's hard to say too much from the image partly because it is a little blurry but also because I can't touch and feel this lump like I would in person.

From what you have described though and from what I see I think it is worthwhile to have your vet look at this. When a lump starts to change in consistency or in how much it bothers a dog then this is criteria for it to be examined. If this were my case I would want to do a test called a fine needle aspirate where a needle is put in the lump and cells are drawn out. Dogs tolerate this well. I would then look at the cells under a microscope to see if I can determine what the problem is.

Hopefully this is something like a sebaceous cyst. I have seen cysts that are not bothering the dog and then suddenly become infected causing irritation. But it could be something more serious like, say, a mast cell tumor. If this is the case then you would want to have surgery done as soon as possible.

I hope things work out 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.