As pet parents, it can be nerve-wracking to discover new lumps on your canine best friends, especially when you have no idea why they’re there. Bumps on dogs are surprisingly common, as any vet will tell you, but they don’t always spell doom and gloom. Although older dogs are more susceptible to getting them, these lumps can appear even on younger dogs. Without prior knowledge of how and why bumps form on dogs, it can be terrifying to discover one on your beloved pet., but as you’ll find later, lumps are not always as bad as they initially may seem.

Why Is There A Lump On My Dog?

Why Is There A Lump On My Dog

If you happen to stumble across an unexplainable bump anywhere on your dog’s body, there is no need to panic. A lump on a dog, just as on a human, can be caused by a number of things. It could be:

  • A skin cyst (sebaceous cyst)
  • A wart
  • A blood blister (hematoma)
  • An infected follicle
  • A fatty tumor (lipoma)
  • A benign tumor; or
  • A malicious tumor

Diagnosing the lump, for many, is the hard part. However, you don’t need to be a vet to be able to judge whether the bump on your dog could, in fact, turn out to be something serious. Here are some things to check for:

  1. How long has the bump been there?
  2. Does it move under the skin or is it hardened and immovable?
  3. Has it changed inconsistency since its appearance?
  4. Is it a single lump or a series of bumps?
  5. Is the lump accompanied by visible changes in your dog’s personality, behavior, and health?

These questions can help you to at least determine whether the lump is serious or not. Although you may not be able to accurately pinpoint its cause, sharing this information with your vet can make diagnosis and treatment much quicker.

Bumps You Should Be Worried About


While the majority of lumps and tumors found on dogs are benign, there is always the chance of stumbling across a malicious lump. If you spot a bump with the following characteristics, it is wise to visit the vet as soon as possible:

  • Abnormally colored
  • Firm and unmoving
  • Grows rapidly
  • Oozes
  • Change in shape or size over time

That said, there are no precise criteria for diagnosing a malignant tumor in a dog, at least not without the proper medical equipment and training.

How Professionals Diagnose Lumps

How Professionals Diagnose Lumps

Further diagnosis of the mysterious lump on your dog will require professional help, and that’s where your vet steps in. Using Fine Needle Aspiration, a procedure commonly used in such cases, they can extract samples from the lump and send them to a lab for further analysis. Any negative news received up until this point is not conclusive since this test only serves to determine the nature of the tumor (malignant or benign).

Only ‘suspicious’ results warrant further tests, and these come in the form of abdominal ultrasounds and blood work. Benign tumors are easily removed through surgery in what is one of the most common surgical procedures conducted on canines today. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, can be treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Once you’re confident that the lump warrants a trip to the vet, it is essential that the trip is made as soon as possible. There is always the possibility that your pet may undergo surgery to remove the lump. This brings us to the question: is pet surgery expensive?

The Cost of Lump Removal

The Cost of Lump Removal

Getting a lump surgically removed from your dog can cost an upwards of $1,000. This steep price can be avoided if you have pet insurance, which significantly prolongs the lifespan of pets. Pet insurance doesn’t just cover against diseases brought on by old age. Even young dogs can be covered against accidents, illnesses, and general emergencies.

Pet insurance takes off a great deal of the weight we deal with as our pet’s age and become more prone to sickness. It guarantees that we can extend the lives of our pets even in tight situations.

Keeping “Bad” Lumps at Bay

Once your canine buddy hits 7, it is vital to start performing regular checks, not just for lumps, but for other suspicious appearances on your dog’s body. The wise thing for any pet parent to do is to keep track of any bumps on their dog, new or old, as this puts them in the right position to spot a potentially dangerous one.

Alternatively, scheduling annual checkups for your pets will do the trick. Just like your yearly medical, an annual checkup for dogs past seven years of age allows your vet to keep track of the dog’s health. Spotting new lumps is faster and diagnosing them is more accurate this way as your vet will have a good idea of what to look for.