Skin Mass vs Tumor: Detecting Lumps and Bumps on Pets

Skin mass vs tumor – How can you tell the difference between a fatty mass and cancer? The most common lumps or bumps are found during petting or grooming your pet. Frequent preventive examinations with your Veterinarian will also help early detection of skin masses. Some masses are known to have slow growth and may go unnoticed for years. Other masses are sometimes known to appear suddenly or form an ulcer due to self-trauma (scratching or licking) or secondary irritation. Skin masses can differ in diameter and presence.

Skin mass vs tumor: Causes

  • Infections
  • Tumors
  • Parasites
  • Injury
  • Cysts (obstructed inflamed glands)
  • Blemishes
  • Calluses

Skin Mass Cancerous?

Skin and subcutaneous (under the skin) masses are commonly branched into two distinctive categories; benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous). Malignant tumors can be intrusive and life-threatening. Your Veterinarian will determine of the mass based upon evidence and laboratory tests that may include taking a sample for microscopic study. If medicine or surgery is needed, it can widely vary depending of the sample and magnitude of the mass. If the mass is suspicious (possibly cancerous), immediate removal and sending sample to the laboratory for evaluation may be recommended. Chest x-rays can be performed by your Veterinarian to see if the mass has escalated to other parts of the body.

Any skin mass you discover should be evaluated by a pet care professional or your Veterinarian. Especially those that change, grow, become painful, infected, or ulcerated.

Should my pets skin mass be removed?

The chances of the mass spreading or reoccurring to other parts of the body (malignancy) is the most important thought to think about when determining to surgically remove the mass or monitor it. Another consideration is the comfort of your pet. Some masses depending on its location and size, can be painful. Masses that are ulcerated can become infected, causing more complications and medicine. Often times mass removals are corrective if removed before spreading to other parts of the body. Delaying the removal or treating the mass can make the surgery extremely difficult. With immediate evaluations of the skin masses, your pet should have a greater chance of a positive conclusion.