Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lumps and Bumps

It’s not uncommon for middle-aged pets, particularly dogs, to develop all sorts of lumps and bumps, either on or just under the skin. In most cases the bumps are nothing more than harmless fatty tumors or cysts -- fluid filled sacs. Most lumps and bumps on dogs are benign. In cats however, as well as some dogs lumps and bumps are the warning sign of a more serious problem.

-Turn your back on cysts: Don’t panic if your vet discovers cysts during a routine exam. These fluid filled sacs are almost always harmless, so the best thing is usually to ignore them. Occasionally cysts form in areas that gets a lot of friction -- under the collar, for example -- and they can get irritated and sore. If this happens your vet may recommend having them surgically removed.

-Keep them clean: Occasionally cysts will rupture on their own, which can cause the skin to become infected. You can keep it clean with soap and water, or you can apply rubbing alcohol several times a day, which will keep it from becoming infected and to reduce itching.

-Do a laying-on-of-hands: Frequently rubbing and stroking your pet is perhaps the best way to find potentially serious lumps early -- and keep your pet happy at the same time. Try to do a monthly check.

-Put up the beach umbrella: If you live in a sunny climate or your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, they need sun protection, preferably the kind you use on yourself, like SPF 15. Apply sunscreen to his ears, nose and face, which are the most exposed to burning rays. Don’t be concerned if he licks it off. With the exception of products containing zinc, sunscreens aren’t harmful to dogs or cats.

-Do a mouth check: It’s not always fun to get up close and intimate, particularly when your best friend has been dining on liver and fish heads. But lumps that occur in the mouth are more likely to be dangerous than those found on other parts of the body. It is important to get your pet to open wide so you can do a careful inspection and perhaps catch them early. Look at the tongue, around the lips and inside the mouth. You’ll have to look carefully, because the lumps can be quite small. If you find a lump you are not sure about, ask your vet to take a look.

*These tips are home remedies only and should not ever be used as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your veterinarian. If your pet has a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical care.

Alice England


Pup Fan said...

Definitely a good idea to check your pet for new lumps and bumps and have the vet check them out! We recently did that, and luckily it turned out to be a benign cyst. But always better to know.

poodlelounge said...

Great post.

Art and Sew Forth said...

This is really important...even for guinea pigs! I now regularly check for lumps after losing a few to cancer. Sometimes you just don't pet them everywhere to know if there is anything starting. Good post!

Unknown said...

Great post! Thanks so much!

Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

This is a great post, so important. I am so lucky that my Giupetto actually asks for his massage at least daily. Rolls over on his back too so I can get a good look. LOL
The massage not only is great in finding any lumps and bumps but helps to relax the dog.
Thanks Alice.
Diana and the Gs