Lumpectomy (Removing a Lump or Mass) in Dogs

Information on Canine Lumpectomy

A lump is an abnormal growth or mass that can appear on the skin surface or below the dog’s skin. Removal of a lump is medically referred to as a lumpectomy. A lumpectomy is essentially the removal of any skin bump, mass or tumor.

In addition to appearing anywhere on or in the body, lumps can also be well encapsulated or invasive and attached to underlying structures. Some lumps are benign and other are malignant (likely to spread). If determined to be benign, treatment is usually limited to surgical removal. If determined to be malignant, surgical removal of the lump, as well as additional medical treatment, may be necessary.

Veterinary Care for a Lum/Mass on Dogs

In order to determine the cause of the lump, your veterinarian will first ask you many questions to develop a complete history of the progression of the dog’s problem. Your veterinarian will need to know your dog’s age, when the mass was first noted, if it has changed in color, size or consistency, if it seems to bother your dog, any treatments you have tried and the results. If other veterinarians have done any tests regarding the mass, then you should bring these results to your veterinarian’s attention. If you have tried any treatments for this problem, it’s helpful to tell your veterinarian about them and whether they had any effect or not.

The following may also be recommended:

Diagnosis of the Cause of a Dog’s Lump

Treatment for Dog’s Undergoing a Lumpectomy

General anesthesia and surgery are required to remove a lump. The lump is removed, including some normal tissue around it to make sure that the whole mass is removed. Some tumors extend microscopically very far beyond the primary mass, making it necessary to remove a large area of tissue around the primary mass.

If the surgery is extensive and leaves a large defect, reconstructive surgery can be done to help close the wound. Some malignant tumors on the limbs and toes require amputation of the affected limb or toe in order to remove the whole tumor.

Depending on the type of tumor and/or the success in removing all of the tumor, additional therapy may be necessary to prevent recurrence or spread of the tumor. This can include chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

Home Care for Dogs after Lumpectomy

Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve.

Depending on the results of the surgery and biopsy, your dog may require further surgery or treatment. A close working relationship with your veterinarian is critical to the success of your pet’s treatment. Frequent re-check examinations allow for early detection and treatment of any problems that may arise.