Ask Dr Claire
My dog has a firm lump on her back, and it’s worrying me how serious could this lump be?
As a rule of thumb, lumps are either:
1. Non-cancerous and just inflammatory.
2. Cancerous, being either:
(a) Benign (tend to be slow growing and not spread readily), or
(b) Malignant (fast growing and can spread to other areas).
When it comes to lumps, looks can be very deceiving. So if you’re worried, a sample of the lump is the only true way to tell what it is. This can be done really easily in the vet clinic, collecting a few cells with a needle and examining them under the microscope. Sometimes the sample will be sent to a veterinary pathologist to interpret the cells. Then recommendations can be made as to whether a biopsy or removal is needed.
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