How to Tell if My Dogs Lump is Cancer or Not

if your dog or cat has developed a lump on their skin than today I’m going to talk about exactly how to know whether it needs removing or whether you can safely leave it alone my first question is from Stuart who has an older visla and Stuart writes that Tucker has a walked like cyst on the outer flap of his ear it’s about three millimeters across and round it’s clean it’s not appearing to be infected so how can Stuart go about and removing this lump well I’ll start off by saying that really only a qualified veterinarian can perform an active surgery on an animal that’s a legal requirement so I certainly wouldn’t encourage you just to go chopping bits off your dog kind of willy-nilly now whether this mask needs removing or not is the next question and different types of mass they do really need to be approached differently so we’ve got things like skin tags or sebaceous cysts which are benign lumps and benign means that although they’re they’re growing in that local area they’re not going to spread to other parts of the body and cause problems elsewhere so we’ve got benign benign masses like skin tags or sebaceous cysts I’m also lipomas would fit into this category which is a very common lump that we get generally under the skin of larger breed and especially overweight dogs but these could all be safely left if they’re not causing a problem other tumors though so malignant tumors which more nasty there may be really invasive locally so they can kind of cause real problems with where they are or if they’re kind of going to alter ate caused problems like that or if they’re going to spread to other parts of the body so typically that’s the lungs but it can also be the liver kidneys and we can get tumors kind of secondary tumors forming elsewhere in the body so these tumors can need to be you know ideally need to be removed and some of them will need to be removed with really wide margins so you’ll have to kind of go quite a long way outside of what the obvious tumor looks like just to try and make sure that we completely remove that mass so when do we know if a tumor is a benign lump and we don’t need to worry about it or if it’s a nastier lump because of where it is or how it’s growing or because of its potential to spread well ideally all masses that are larger than a pea all lumps that are larger than the size of a pea or that have been present for longer than a really should be checked out by your vet now the quickest way that we can check that and your vet may be able to check that to let you know if it’s benign in the case of a skin tag or a cyst is to do something called a fine needle aspirate or an F na and what happens here is we take a small narrow thin needle we pop that into the mass we then try and suck up a few cells where we kind of move the needle backwards and forwards into the mass I kind of on a conveyor rapid basis and that takes a few cells from the mass into the needle which we then pop on to a slide and look at that under the microscope so that’s a really well tolerated test so in the vast cases we don’t need to do any sedation we don’t need to worry about local anaesthetic or anything like that a dog and the cat they just won’t really notice that it’s that it’s being done that test is being carried out now in some cases for example if a mass was really close to an eye or a dog was really sensitive if a mass was really saw then it might be that that’s not the best option and we need to sedate sedate them and then we can carry out a fine needle aspirate or an FA or it might be that we want to take a further biopsy …

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