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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  DVM 19 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.
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My dog has suddenly developed a golf ball size lump on her

Resolved Question:

My dog has suddenly developed a golf ball size lump on her back...just below her rib cage about 5 inches to the right of her spine. Any ideas as to what is going on or what I should do. Have appt with vet tomorrow morning
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 5 years ago.

Hello and thank you for asking your question on just answer. My name isXXXXX will try to help.


Is the lump hard, soft, or fluid filled?


Does it bother her if you press into it?


Can you see the skin there? Is it red or the same color as the rest of her?


Is it bothering her?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It seems to feel soft but perhaps anchored???

She doesn't seem to be bothered when I touch it.

Her skin seems to be the same color in the area.

I notice this on Sunday. It was very small, not visible. I just felt it when I was petting her. This afternoon, suddenly, it was visible.

She is being treated for some whisker infection/staph thing ( i forget the name ) and is on 5mg Pred and Ceflex 2/day.

Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 5 years ago.

The good news is, cancer does not pop up to golf ball size in a day so I would not worry about that.


If it is NOT hot, red, or painful then it does not sound like an infection or an abscess.


It could be a cyst which is a fluid fill sack in the middle layers of the skin. It is usually caused by some kind of trauma to that area. A "hematoma" is similar to a cyst but it is filled with blood (like a blood blister) instead of serous fluid like a regular cyst.


A common cause of a soft lump, in dogs, is a benign fat deposit. They do seem to pop up over night. They are called "lipomas."


Since it does not sound inflamed, and it is not bothering her, there is really nothing you can do to reduce it or help her. You should not worry either.


Tomorrow the vet will aspirate a small amount of material, from the lump, and look at it under a microscope. Then treatment, if needed, will be planned. If it is a lipoma, cyst, or hematoma you will most likely just be asked to monitor it for now.

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