What’s that Lump on Your Dog’s Leg Signify

If you have an aging pet, you might have noticed lumps or bumps appearing in parts of their bodies. And if you are like any typical dog owner, you might have thought that it is cancer. But without a diagnosis from the vet, there is no way to accurately assess the lump, as merely feeling it cannot indicate a serious condition. As the owner, it is important that you are aware of your dog’s body so you can quickly see any changes. Keep in mind that any lump persisting for more than 5 days merits further evaluation from the vet.


Never be too quick into panicking and assuming the worst, though. After all, there are so many kinds of benign or non-cancerous lumps that can be found on dogs. The most common kinds are explained below.

  • Fatty lumps. Technically referred as “lipomas”, these are usually seen in obese dogs. These lumps have to be removed as they can grow bigger over time. Unlike cancer cells, they do not usually spread to other parts of the body.
  • Sebaceous cysts. Similar to acne in humans, these cysts are more common among older dogs. The cysts contain a pus-like substance with a consistency similar to that of toothpaste. The bumps get red and swollen, although they usually do not cause any harm to the dog.
  • Histiocytoma. Usually seen among younger dogs, histiocytoma appear fast and go away just as quickly. They look like buttons with a diameter of about 1 centimeter and can be very red. They rarely need any kind of treatment.
  • Warts. All dogs are not immune to the formation of warts. They can develop on any part of their body. Treatments are not usually needed for such growths unless the warms get irritated and start to bleed.

If the lump of the dog does not seem to fit into any of the above conditions, then it is highly possible that it can be something else. Below are the most significant signs that a lump on your dog can be an indication of cancer.


  • If the lump does not move around easily, it can be malignant because cancer usually grows into the tissue and around it. This makes the tumor almost immovable.
  • If the lump is also accompanied with other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, decrease in appetite and energy, and weight loss; it can possibly be malignant. This kind of growth warrants more investigation by the vet.
  • If the lump or the area surrounding it bleeds, is irritated, painful or produces discharge, a biopsy of the tissue is usually the next step.

If your dog exhibits any of the above signs, it would be best that you take him to an emergency vet clinic or a specialty animal hospital in the Delaware Valley for further evaluation. A radiation oncologist for pets usually has access to the right equipment to further assess your dog and remove mast cell tumors, if there are any. Just like any pet owner, you only want the best for your pet, so choosing the best veterinary specialty hospital in Philadelphia is important.

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