Skin Lumps And Bumps

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Those of us who live close to our pets and groom them regularly find lumps and bumps earlier than ever before. This is great for us because the earlier a condition is seen the easier it is to treat. While most of you are concerned you have found a "cancer", often the lump is something else. Lumps and bumps may be any of the following.

  • CYST - Simple, sac-like cavities that develop within the skin. Round, firm, painless, discrete epidermal (epidermoid) cysts develop within hair follicles and often contain cheese curd-like substance. They are often wrongly called "sebaceous cysts". Don't squeeze cysts. That only causes local inflammation and heightens the risk of infection
  • ABSCESS - An abscess is a deep infection, walled of in a pocket of tissue under the skin. Bacteria are deposited for example by a tooth or claw that penetrates the skin. White blood cells attack the invaders while the body walls off the battle field to prevent the skirmish from spreading elsewhere.
  • HAEMATOMA - An accumulation of blood under the skin, especially on the ear flaps. May be: hot, reddened skin, rarely painful.
  • GRANULOMA - A connective tissue response to anything that penetrates the outer layer of the skin. May be: raised, firm, in the skin, lack discrete margins, spontaneously diminish in size. A granuloma is a common "sterile" foreign body response, for example, an injection reaction. Cats can suffer a more dangerous foreign substance reaction called a sarcoma.
  • LIPOMA - A tumour of fat cells. Occurs anywhere on the body in older individuals. May be: in the skin but more often just under the skin, painless, round or oblong, soft and constantly growing.
  • MELANOMA - A pigmented skin tumour (although there are also unpigmented melanomas). May be: dark purple to black in colour, raised from the skin, painless, anywhere on the skin but also the gums and nailbeds. These are dangerous.
  • HISTIOCYTOMA - A button-like raised lump anywhere on the body. Most common in under two year old dogs. May be: red and inflamed, irritating and licked
  • PAPILLOMA - A cauliflower-like growth protruding from the skin. Affected dogs (It’s usually dogs) frequently have many. May be: pink and painless. Can be easily damaged and infected.
  • PERIANAL ADENOMA - A discrete swelling in the tissue around the anus in older male dogs. May be: closed or open and irritating triggering much licking.
  • EYELID LUMPS - Usually benign tumours called sebaceous adenomas or Meibomianomas. May be: pigmented or non pigmented, irritating or not.
  • OTHER SKIN CANCERS - A variety of other skin tumours including Basal cell tumours, Squamous cell carcinomas and Mast cell tumours grow on the skin of older dogs and cats. All are dangerous or potentially dangerous.

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