My lovely doggy lumps
August 24, 2006 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Lumps on a Dog

So, my little 15lb Rat terrier developed a pretty big lump last week. It's about the size of half a golfball, protruding out of her back next to her spine. When I first noticed it, it was soft to the touch and seemed to be filled with liquid. I took her to the vet, sat in the waiting room for an hour before he walked in. He looked at the lump, squeezed it between his fingers a bit, and said 'its just a hematoma around a bruise. She'll be fine. You owe me $26' and walked out. He's a sweetie.

So, heres the specs today:
Hemisphere of a Golfball sized lump
Grew up practically over night.
Was soft to the touch, now its hardened slightly
Doesnt cause my dog any discomfort when i squeeze it

Is this a legit, and normal diagnosis?
Do I need to keep an eye on her for any other symptoms?
How long will it take for the lump to go away?
Why is my vet always so grumpy?
posted by ZackTM to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
The dog I had growing up was very lumpy. She had a good 20+ lumps on her, ranging from marble-sized to golf-ball-sized. But she was pretty furry, so you couldn't see them. Anyway, the vet checked her out and determined they were Nothing to Worry About. She lived to be 15. (The dog, not the vet.)
posted by ferociouskitty at 11:13 AM on August 24, 2006

Take her back to the vet & have him take a sample from the lump. Something that grows in size that fast and hardens might be more than hematoma around a bruise.
I have a very lumpy, and very old dog. I just had a very large lump removed from her. One vet said it was just fluid filled. Another vet looked at it & had it tested. It turned out to be cancer & thank God, we found it in time.
My dog's other lumps are "fat deposits," but there's a very real chance that non-cancerous lumps can turn cancerous. It's always good to get them checked, and monitor them. I would seek a second opinion. I've encountered my share of grumpy vets too, but the one I have now is sweet & honest & will talk to me about my pet until I completely understand. It sounds like your vet is falling short there.
posted by Alpenglow at 11:25 AM on August 24, 2006

Yes, get a biopsy done. It could be a mast cell tumor, a lipoma, or some other cancer. It could also be some kind of cyst. And seriously consider getting a new vet.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:31 AM on August 24, 2006

(And when you're getting that biopsy done, reminisce fondly on your $26 vet bill.)
posted by smackfu at 11:41 AM on August 24, 2006

I had a 10-year-old lab that rapidly developed a large (ended up baseball to softball sized) lump on her side. The vet at first thought it was a fat cyst or benign hematoma but it kept growing and turned out to be cancer and she didn't make it. The lump was actually filled with blood (couldn't do a biopsy on that) caused by a tumor on a blood vessel, so it was probably hemangiosarcoma. Supposedly, hemangiosarcoma affects larger and older dogs more though, so maybe you shouldn't worry too much. Regardless, get a second opinion or at least watch the lump very carefully.
posted by Durin's Bane at 12:07 PM on August 24, 2006

My Lab had some lumps that turned out to be better news. By the time he died aged 15 he had about 5 or 6 - one was about the size of a small egg - but the vet pronounced them benign cysts. They were similar to the touch to the one you describe. They weren't getting in the way and he was too old to undergo surgery without risks, so we just left them. FWIW, they didn't go away, so if your dog's lump is similar to these, it may just stick around. But you should get a biopsy done regardless. Better safe than sorry. I hope it's good news when you get the results, too.
posted by greycap at 12:19 PM on August 24, 2006

i had a rat terrier too, and she started growing lumps when she turned 10 or 11. we got it checked out, and they turned out to be benign tumors. they removed all of the tumors, but a few years later, they reappeared with a vengeance, and malignant. i sincerely hope your dog is okay, though.
posted by kerning at 12:20 PM on August 24, 2006

How old is your dog, btw?
posted by Durin's Bane at 12:33 PM on August 24, 2006

Response by poster: I actually found her in Mississippi doing relief work after Katrina, so I don't know her age for sure. The people at the shelter I took her to after I found her said she was around 3-4 years old (so now she's 4-5). Her age is a mystery though because she's really energetic and mobile when its time to play and cuddley when its time to relax.
posted by ZackTM at 2:30 PM on August 24, 2006

My vote is for hematoma, and you don't even have to pay me $26. My dad had a dog who had these, huge ones, for years. Unless you have money to burn, I'd believe your vet.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:08 PM on August 24, 2006

Response by poster: For the record, the bump went way down and after a week you couldnt even see it was there. I am pretty confident in the hematoma diagnosis now.
posted by ZackTM at 10:12 AM on September 14, 2006

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