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Lump on dog's head.

Species: Dog
Breed: German Shepherd Mix
Age: 5-8 years
Within a week or two I noticed a bump on Badger's head (about center back behind eyes on top of head) it was too small to get a look at it by moving his hair back....but it is getting bigger and now I can move his hair back to see it is a red bump. Doesn't seem to be anything coming out of it, picture is included. What could this be? Badger has no health issues....


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for sending me a picture of this lump:

red lump on dog's head

There are several things that this could be. It could be a wart and if this is the case it's nothing to worry about.

It could be something called a histiocytoma. A histiocytoma is a benign lump that comes up quickly, stays for a few months and then just goes away. It is nothing to worry about either.

It could be something more serious called a mast cell tumor. A mast cell tumor should be surgically removed as some of them can be very serious.

Or it could be a cyst which again is nothing to worry about.

Because this is growing rapidly, I would recommend that you have a vet take a look. They will likely do a test called a fine needle aspirate where they put a small needle in and take some cells out. Dogs tolerate this really well. They'll look at the cells under the microscope and determine what it is.

My gut instinct is that it is probably nothing to be concerned about but I still think it should be looked at.

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:

Dr. Marie, thank you.... when I got home my husband let me know that it "popped" and was a white - yellow tint puss that came out.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

That's a good sign! That makes me think more of a cyst and much less of a mast cell tumor.

It could also be a little infected wound as well.

It's not as urgent now to get it checked out. But, if it is still growing by next week or if there is more pus/yellow debris in the next day or two then I would have your vet take a look.



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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.