A closer look: Subcutaneous Lumps in Dogs
Subcutaneous lumps are common in dogs, and can be an indicator of a variety of different conditions. Some diseases associated with the symptom require immediate care while others do not require treatment and eventually disappear on their own. Due to this vast range of possible causes, verifying the nature of the subcutaneous lump via veterinary diagnostics as soon as possible is recommended.
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The location and size of the lump are important factors in determining the underlying cause. Masses that grow quickly, appear to be particularly painful, and do not go away on their own often indicate a more severe underlying cause.
Testing and diagnosis
The diagnostic process involves fine needle aspiration (FNA) and cytology to determine the nature of the mass. A biopsy can sometimes be necessary as well.
Treatment largely depends on the underlying condition. It might be tempting to want the mass removed as soon as possible but this is not always recommended for undiagnosed subcutaneous growths. For benign tumors, marginal excision might be sufficient. For other conditions, treatment may vary from medications to no therapy at all.
Sometimes scar tissue can appear as a subcutaneous lump. Also, microchips can often be mistaken on palpation as an abnormal subcutaneous growth.
Other clinical signs vary according to the underlying condition.