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Lumps and Bumps: Routine Visits Pay Off

When was the last time your pet visited the veterinarian? If you answered "not in a while," it is time to book your next appointment. Have you recently discovered a lump or bump on your pet? Don't let that new discovery go unexamined. While it may be completely benign, it is essential for your pet's health to make an appointment with your veterinarian soon after discovery. Ruling out health concerns such as tumors, cysts, and infections will help to keep your pet healthy.

Discovering and Diagnosing Lumps and Bumps

Without regular veterinary visits, subtle illnesses such as pet lumps and bumps can go unnoticed and develop into more serious health concerns such as cancers, arthritic conditions, and infections. When you brush and groom your pet, feel around behind ears, along the neckline, underneath their bellies and along legs and joints for wounds, lumps, and bumps.

Your groomer can help discover things you may miss. Furrier animals can hide lumps and bumps for a long time without anyone noticing until the animal becomes sick. While many pet owners consider grooming a pampering ritual for pets, it could be life-saving, especially when you choose a groomer who works in an environment with a veterinarian on site.

What to Look for on Your Pet

There are many types of masses, but a lipoma is the most common lump found on pets. This soft, round or flat, and painless lump presents just under your pet's skin and is generally benign, although, rarely a liposarcoma is found. More of a problem though, is that mast cell tumors, a type of skin cancer, can look and feel just like a lipoma. Because of this, it is always best for your pet's overall wellness to have these lumps and bumps accurately evaluated and diagnosed.

Occasionally benign masses can grow into other surrounding tissues. While the actual lump itself is not a concern, the tissue it can disrupt sometimes is problematic. The mass may affect the way a limb moves, or an eyelid closes. In some cases lumps must be removed surgically, and removing them early is the key.

Sources:
Goodman Lee, Jessica, “Lumps & Bumps: Team Training Plan.” Veterinary Team Brief, 2013.

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  • "Dear Valley Animal Hospital,

    I am so thankful for Dr. Halverson and the staff at Valley Animal Hospital. My two babies (Dashchunds) were diagnosed and treated for pancreatitis last week. It is because of you that I still have my precious dogs! I will always remember the kindness and understanding I was given during a very difficult time. I have no doubt my babies were given the absolute best care! I want you to know it meant the world to me and I'm sincerely grateful.

    Thank you ALL so much!"
    KB
  • "I just wanted to tell you and everyone thank you so very much for your dedication to building trust and a relationship with our Koda. Further more we have never received a follow-up call from a veterinarian - ever. We feel confident leaving Koda in you care while going on vacation in a few weeks."
    Dr. Kathy Bradshaw