Help! My Pet Has a Strange Bump

How much should you worry?

Pets are resilient–and sometimes play rough! This can result in bumps and bruises that are alarming to watchful pet parents. So how do you know if a strange bump is a harmless side-effect of a little dog park wrestling, or reason to make an appointment with the vet? Let’s take a look at some common bumps in pets and whether they’re cause for concern.

Did you notice the strange lump along your pet’s torso, seemingly just under the surface of the skin? Oftentimes these bumps are what are called lipomas–small deposits of fatty tissue that reside under an animal’s skin or within the connective tissue. They might be anywhere from the size of a pea to a marble. In most cases, these are harmless and will just sit there, but a biopsy at the vet can ease your mind that it’s not something more serious.

Does it look and feel similar to a pimple? Chances are it’s just an infected hair follicle or a bug bite. Clean the area with a natural antiseptic, like apple cider vinegar, or spray it with a small amount of Benadryl. This bump should disappear on its own within a few days.

Did you notice the bump after a particularly rough play session? It could be a bruise, just like the ones humans get (think of the “egg” that appears after a good bump to the head). The bump should go down on its own within a few days. If the problem persists, or if your pet continues to favor the affected area, see a vet.

Is the bump moving or changing in size? It’s probably time to call your vet. There’s no reason to jump to the conclusion that it’s something serious, like a tumor, but it could be a cyst or adenoma that needs to be drained or removed before it gets worse.

The best rule of thumb is to watch the bump for about a week. If it sticks around for a week or more, your best bet is to consult with a veterinarian to make sure it’s not a health concern.

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