What Small Bumps on Dogs Can Mean

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Photo Legend: This photo is of a 9-year-old dog with two small skin lumps on his side which is shaved. It was impossible to tell what type of small lumps they were without submitting tissue samples to the laboratory. The report came back that these two small lumps were aggressive canine mast cell tumors which is a type of skin cancer.

If your dog has a small lump, the best way to help determine the underlying cause is to closely examine the lump. Many times shaving the hair around that area is a big help to allow you to examine the area of focus. This may be best done with the help of your veterinarian.  Your veterinarian may perform the following:

  • A complete exam where your vet looks at your dog’s eyes, ears, listen to the lungs and heart, evaluate lymph node size, and feel the abdomen.
  • Evaluate the skin lump. Your vet will evaluate the skin lump noting the size, shape, depth, location, consistency, color and more. They may shave the hair to more closely evaluate the small lump.
  • Provide recommendations. Based on the characteristics of the tumor, your vet will provide recommendations as to the best approach to the skin mass.  They may recommend evaluating the mass with a fine needle aspirate, biopsy, or mass removal (often called “lumpectomy”).
  • It can be impossible to determine if a tumor is benign or malignant without additional laboratory testing such as a histopathology. Learn more about Skin Cancer in Dogs.
  • Common Small Bumps on Dogs:

Here are links to information about some common small bumps on dogs:

We hope this article helps you better understand the causes of some small lumps in dogs.

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