Lumps, bumps, tumours...

It is possible that at some point in its life your pet might develop a lump in some part of its body. Tumours, abscesses, cysts, bruises and large scars are the most frequent culprits.

When you find a lump on your pet, after the natural worry an illness provokes, you should ask yourself a few questions. Is this the first time I have noticed it? Are there other lumps on my pet’s body? How long has the growth been there?

After asking yourself these questions, you should consult your veterinary surgeon immediately. Sometimes pet owners do not pay enough attention to small lumps, and something that could have had an easy solution with timely treatment gets worse.

Once at the practice, and after asking you for the relevant information, the vet will perform a complete physical examination. More tests might be necessary, such as blood and urine tests and x-rays of the area of the body where the lump is located or of other areas, if there is a suspicion of malignancy. These x-rays are performed to rule out that the tumour has spread to other sites in the body. Ultrasounds, tissue samples or magnetic resonance imaging may also be necessary.

This battery of tests is then used to provide an accurate diagnosis of the type of illness and what health impact it may have on your pet, as well as to decide which is the best treatment for it.

In certain cases your pet’s own body may make the lump disappear. This mainly happens with bruises, reactions to vaccines and some abscesses, although it may be necessary to treat some of them, mostly with surgery. Surgical removal is usually simple and effective with these kinds of masses, except for malignant tumours.

In the case of malignant tumours, you should keep in mind that there are different tumour stages and they will influence the prognosis and the treatment plan. The stages take into account the type of tumour, if it has spread, and the organs and structures it has affected.

No matter what type of lump, bump or mass you might find on your pet, do not wait: take your friend to a veterinary practice to be evaluated

Did you know...

Aspirin may cause death in cats. Animals should not be given medicines that have not been prescribed by a veterinary surgeon.

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