Lumps & Bumps
Lumps and Bumps; the Options
Lumps and bumps that come up on your pet are common as they age and can be a concern.
It is very important to determine the type of lump that has come up in order to deal with it appropriately and minimize further spread and illness in your animal.
The only way of knowing for sure is to surgically remove a piece of the lump and send it to the laboratory for analysis. This is called a biopsy and is usually done under anesthetic.
A simpler and cheaper option is a Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA) where a small amount of fluid is drawn off the lump and used to make a slide that is then examined at the laboratory under a microscope. This can generally tell us whether it is advisable to surgically remove the lump and also how much tissue needs to be removed around the lump to prevent re occurrence.
Sometimes the lump does not give a good FNA sample and results may be inconclusive. In these cases, a biopsy may be necessary.
Aside from surgery or FNA the next best thing is to monitor the size of the lump (you can cut a piece of paper to the size of the lump and compare it each week). If it is increasing in size or if it uncomfortable for your pet then it is probably necessary to have it removed and tested.
Other options include homeopathy, essential oils, herbal medicine and a number of other complementary therapies, which can be effective at eliminating lumps. In some cases, though, this can take a long period of time.