Feeling a bump or lump on your pets’ skin can be worrying. Many pet owners assume the worst when they find a lump. But not all lumps are a cause for concern. A tumor is an abnormal growth that occurs when abnormal cells begin to replicate. 

It is crucial to visit a veterinarian if you discover a lump on your pet. This is because taking your pet for a full evaluation will help with proper diagnosis and treatment. If a tumor is discovered, the vet can remove it. 


Different Types of Tumors

Different types of tumors affect pets. The most common tumor is lipoma, lumps of fatty tissue that collect and form below the skin surface. This is a benign tumor that usually forms in dogs and cats at around five years of age. 

A mast cell tumor is another common type of tumor. It is smaller, and in most cases, itchy and red. Mast cell tumors can be malignant or benign, and thus, testing is vital. Lymphoma tumors are cancerous tumors that form in the lymph nodes. These tumors are treated using radiation or chemotherapy.


Removing a Skin Mass

In most cases, removing a skin mass is a simple procedure. The vet will begin by making an incision in the skin around the mass. Most masses are treatable with surgical removal. But the vet will need to remove some of the normal skin alongside the mass. This will help ensure that all microscopic cells around the tumor have been removed.

Mass removal is a vital step in determining whether a mass is cancerous or benign. After the removal of the mass, the vet will use sutures to close the incision.


Tumor Removal Surgery

A vet will perform a biopsy and will remove the tumor for proper diagnosis and treatment. During the surgery, the pet will be under anesthesia. The complexity of the procedure will depend on the size of the tumor and its location. The veterinarian removes and sends the mass to the lab for testing and diagnostic confirmation. If the tumor is malignant, the vet will treat the pet with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation. 


Mammary Tumors 

Mammary tumors usually affect female animals. In rare cases, they can affect male animals. Pets that are not spayed have the highest risk of developing tumors. The tumors can be malignant or benign. Mammary tumors in cats are often malignant, but in dogs, they are usually benign. So the vet will need to take samples to determine if the mass is cancerous. 


Recovering From Tumor Removal

Most pets recover from tumor removal surgery. Depending on the location of the surgery, the pet may need to wear a cone or e-collar. The collar is worn to prevent licking of the surgical area. After the surgery, the vet will provide aftercare treatment instructions. 

Moreover, your pet may need pain medication after the procedure. The vet might also prescribe antibiotics and other medication depending on the location and size of the tumor. 

Some skin tumors tend to grow back or spread around the same spot. It is necessary to examine your pet, especially if it has a history of developing tumors. If you find any new bumps or lumps, make sure that you take your pet to the veterinarian. 

For more on tumor removal, visit Montana Veterinary Hospital & Boarding at our office in Bozeman, Montana. You can also call 406-586-2019 to schedule an appointment today.