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Identify lumps, bumps, skin tags & warts on your pet

Swellings and lumps on our pets can be a real worry. Often people assume a swelling is something terrible and think the dreaded “C” word, but this is more commonly not the case.
Identify lumps, bumps, skin tags & warts on your pet

Often people . A lump or bump that appears on your cat, dog or rabbit could be anything from a tick or an insect sting to a cyst or maybe an abscess, which are not nice, but far easier to deal with than a malignant swelling.  

The most common swellings and lumps that appear on domestic pets are:

  • Warts – these can be caused by a virus, some may need treatment but most just appear and disappear on their own
  • Cysts – commonly appear between the toes or under sweat glands on the skin
  • Ticks – can look like moles or skin tags sometimes
  • Lipomas – are harmless fatty lumps that can appear anywhere on the body
  • Insect bite or sting
  • Abscesses – these are more common in cats and rabbits and usually present as a hot lump that has puss under the skin or discharge from it
  • Mast cell tumours – these are lumps on the skin and are commonly found on Boxer dogs, some are malignant and need to be removed straight away
  • Mammary tumours – present as lumps under or close to the nipple area
  • Testicular tumours – these are lumps on the testicles of uncastrated males and can be benign (harmless) or malignant (cancerous)

If the lump seems painful, has any discharge from it or is affecting your pet’s mobility then contact your vet straight away.  It is very difficult to be certain what a lump is without looking at it more closely, so your vet may want to look at the cells under a microscope or even take a biopsy under general anaesthetic.

Registered Veterinary Nurse Carolanne says “Examine your pet regularly, just stroking or brushing them is enough to get to know what is normal for them. If you notice any changes then monitor them closely, take a photo or write a note about the size and shape of the swelling and if it changes within 24 hours then contact your vet”

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