What are all these lumps and bumps?

What are all these lumps and bumps?

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

Is My Pet to Plump?

Is My Pet to Plump?

My Pets Ideal Weight

The best way to determine your pets ideal weight is to assess their body condition. Your veterinarian will give your pet a “body condition score” during their wellness exam. However, you don’t need the score to know what is ideal. A pet with an ideal body condition will have a “waist” when looking from above and a “tummy tuck” when looking from the side. You should be able to feel their ribs easily when petting over the rib cage, but you do not want to be able to see each rib when looking from afar. Even without weighing your pet, you can monitor their body condition and determine if they are ideal. If your pet is underweight you should speak to your veterinarian about medical conditions that may cause weight loss. If you determine that your pet is heavier than ideal there are a few easy steps you can take to get on the right track. First measuring out the food and meal feeding are a good start. Then cutting out high calorie treats and substituting for healthier treats – such as baby carrots or green beans for dogs and pieces of kibble for dogs or cats. Adding daily exercise into your routine can also help. For dogs this can mean a walk or playing ball. For cats this can mean setting aside play time to engage them with their favorite toy. Rotate toys to keep it interesting. For both dogs and cats you can use food based toys like treat balls – but instead of treats put part of their daily kibble into the ball.  If you have implemented a plan for weight gain or loss and are having trouble being successful, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.  They can discuss medical reasons for weight gain or weight loss with you.  Also bring a list of all foods and treats fed on a daily basis along with the calories (listed on the pet food bag as kcal/cup) in each food.  The doctors and team at GVH are here to help you be successful. 

Nicole Arms, VMD


More Articles on Nutrition

Is My Pet to Plump?

Is My Pet to Plump?

My Pets Ideal Weight The best way to determine your pets ideal weight is to assess their body condition. Your veterinarian will give your pet a “body condition score” during their wellness exam. However, you don’t need the score to know what is ideal. A...

Lehigh Valley Zoo

Lehigh Valley Zoo

Tia Camarata, Client Care Specialist, at Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital is also a volunteer at the Lehigh Valley Zoo.  Here Tia shares some of the friends she has met at the zoo.

“These are African Blackfooted Penguins and are native to the Southwest tip of Africa.  They are considered warm weather penguins.  The Blackfooted Penguin is an endangered species.”

“The little baby penguin is named Bahati.  She is losing her downy chick features and is growing her juvenile feathers and coloring.  Bahati is the third chick hatched at the zoo and is part of the Species Survival Plan.  The Species Survival Plan is a plan to keep the population breeding.  It also makes sure the genetics are strong enough to keep the species going for a long time.”



The second penguin is Greer, showing off her good side! Greer is an adult penguin and like a true lady her exact age is not known.”

“I look forward to sharing more about the animals from the Lehigh Valley Zoo.”


Tia Camarata

True Story Time: My Dachshund Ate Chocolate

True Story Time: My Dachshund Ate Chocolate

True Story Time: My Dachshund Ate Chocolate

dachshund FrankieI have an adorable 9 year old spayed, dachshund named Frankie.  She, as most dachshunds, can be mischievous. Occasionally, she makes decisions that are not in her best interest.

Shortly before Easter 2017 my sister and her son were visiting.  They decided to go to a local chocolate company for some Easter goodies.  My sister informed my nephew that he was only allowed to have one candy before dinner and the rest should go on the counter.  I was working, and my spouse and sister were making dinner; just enough time for dear Frankie to find her way to the back of the couch, walk on the kitchen pass through to the counter and steal the bag of chocolates.  

I got a frantic call at work stating that Frankie had ingested all the chocolate candies in the bag.  Her list of treats included two milk chocolate peanut butter eggs, several milk chocolate marshmallow eggs, 2 dark chocolate raspberry cream eggs and 3 dark chocolate vanilla buttercream eggs.  I know what you are thinking, 

“Whoa! That is quite the list of treats for a little lady”.  

Yes, those were my thoughts too when I received the call.  I instructed them to bring Frankie over immediately so we could induce vomiting.  The ingestion took place about 5:30 in the evening and they were able to get her to us by 6:00.  Dr Arms was working that evening and administered a medication that induced the vomiting.  Within seconds my little Frankie was regretting her decision.  She produced copious amounts of chocolate vomit.  After the vomiting had stopped, we administered Cerenia – a medication to help alleviate nausea – and some subcutaneous fluids to help with hydration.  Dr. Arms advised that we should watch for any signs of gastrointestinal upset, but was confident that we had caught the incident within a good time frame.  

As the holiday season approaches, with lots of  treats; here are some fun facts about why they can be bad for our pets.  Chocolate contains (be ready for the big technical terms) Methylxanthines, which includes two items of concern; caffeine and theobromine.  Those, in certain amounts, can be toxic to our dogs.  

The types of chocolate below are listed from least dangerous to most dangerous:

  • White 
  • Milk
  • Semi-sweet
  • Unsweetened or baking
  • Dry cocoa powder

If your loveable furbaby makes a poor decision like mine, keep in mind that time is of the essence and the sooner you call your veterinary office the better.

Written By Krystal Barbera-Byrnes, Client Care Specialist

Are You Sure You Have an Alapaha Blue Blooded Bulldog?

Are You Sure You Have an Alapaha Blue Blooded Bulldog?

My GVH Story and the Love of Bulldogs

After many years of working and living in beautiful, sunny Southern California, my wife and I made the decision to sell our condo and move back to Pennsylvania to be close to family. I had planned on taking a year off to adjust to the east coast lifestyle and get settled. Much to my surprise, my loving wife had other plans.  

She thought she would help me by uploading my resume onto several veterinary hiring websites. I did not know she had done this and the phone starting ringing from prospective employers. As any job seeker would do, I went on several interviews but none of them really fit.  Since nothing really grabbed my attention and I had hotel points that were about to expire, we decided to spend a few days at the beach in Delaware. This is where my journey with GVH begins….  

On the drive down to the beach I got a call from Diane Hanlon, the Business Manager at Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital and we agreed to meet for an interview on the following Monday. On my way to the interview I thought to myself this will only take a few minutes and  then I could get back to enjoying my time off.  I was wrong.

When I met with Diane the meeting started off like every other interview, with introductions and your standard interview questions. Then Diane asked me if I had any pets of my own. I replied “yes, a Bullmastiff and 2 cats, they made the cross country trip with me”.  Diane replied, “that’s great, I have a bulldog”. Being a Marine and a bulldog connoisseur, I said “oh yeah what kind of bulldog?” Diane responded, our “ “Mary Grace” is an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog.”  I knew and worked with this breed of bulldog in California and knew how rare they were.  Before I could catch myself, I said “No you don’t, are you sure?”  Great, I just questioned the person who would decide if I would get hired or not.  Diane said “no seriously she is a blue blood bulldog” and pulled her phone out.  We swiped through many pictures of her dog then spent a while talking not about me or GVH but about our dogs, bulldogs, cats and California. The interview ended and I went on my way.

When I got home my wife asked me how did it go? All I said was Diane, who interviewed me has a Blue Blood Bulldog, isn’t that great! Again, my wife asked how did the interview go?. Again I replied, Diane has a black and white Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog and her dog is gorgeous. I was so focused on Diane’s and my excitement for our pets that the rest of the interview took a back seat. Sure, the other stuff like skill level, salary, hours, and benefits are important but I didn’t get into the veterinary field to focus on those things. I wanted to work with clients and their pets and to have the experience like I had with Diane (the excitement and love for animals) during the interview on a daily basis.

I knew then that this veterinary hospital was different, and I wanted to be a part of that. The culture was a focused on the bond humans have with their pets. It was that simple. Everything we (the staff) do at GVH, is to celebrate that bond with our clients and their pets, and to offer the best medicine we possibly can. It was that way when I started over seven years ago, and it’s that way today. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful clients and their pets over the years and look forward to meeting many more as my journey with Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital continues.

By the way I never did get to enjoy a year long vacation from working. Hey wait a minute! Looking back my wife’s master plan worked, she found me a job and then she took a year off instead!!! True story.

Todd Metrision, BS Director of Operations Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital



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