What are all these lumps and bumps???

At Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital, we see lots of pets that have “lumps and bumps”. So what are they all about?  Most common causes of “lumps and bumps” are insect bites/stings, cysts, or an abscess. We usually recommend that the pets come in for a visit so that we can assess the type of lump and bump.

During our exam we will look at: the size, shape, location, and character of the lump.  We will also find out how long it has been there and if there were similar lesions in the past.  In addition to examining the bump, we examine the entire pet to see if there might be other lumps that were hiding.  This can be an especially important step for bumps on the skin because a pet’s skin is actually it’s largest organ!

Sometimes the veterinarian will want to run a test to see if we can determine the cause of the bump on examination.  A common procedure is called a cytologic exam which is very quick and painless for the pet. In this test the veterinarian will collect a small sample of cells from the bump. The sample is then placed on a slide so it can be examined under a microscope or sent to a lab for further review by a veterinary pathologist.

If you are considering bringing your pet in for an appointment to have a bump checked out, here are a couple of ideas that you can try to help you better prepare for your pet’s appointment:  

  • Locate the bump.  It can be difficult to identify small bumps on our furry patients.  Using a non-toxic marker and/or cutting or shaving a small area will help us quickly locate the bump in question.  
  • Measure the size of the bump. Take a piece of notebook paper and write the date on it.  Then place it over the bump and outline the bump as best as possible.  This gives us a great reference point to determine if the bump has changed in size.  

And if all else fails just bring your pet to the hospital and we will help you locate and measure your pets bump.  

Amanda M. Theodore, VMD

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