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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Our dog, Tuzox, (10 years old) has a rather large lump

Customer Question

Hi, our dog, Tuzox, (10 years old) has a rather large lump of about an inch in diameter protruding from his right back side, above his hip. It's been growing for about a month and a half now. This week he started licking it because it got bigger and is likely bothering him when he lays on that side.
He licked it so much the hair came off the bottom part of it and it became inflamed with the skin exposed. It was a veiny purple/pink color. Today my boyfriend tried to lance it. We cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide and numbed it with ice, took him to the park and laid him down. He yelped and almost bit my boyfriend. We let him play a bit to relax him and brought him back to see if anything would come out. My boyfriend tried massaging stuff out but all that came out was blood in a few clumps. I cleaned it again and it closed pretty quickly. My boyfriend thinks it's filled with liquid and he should've lanced it above where the postule is bigger; he wants to try again tomorrow.
My question is: does this seem like a regular benign lump older dogs get or something more serious? He seems to be growing another small on his underside.
Our other dog just got run over a month ago and we're still paying off a $5000 bill so taking him to a vet is a last resort. Can I send you photos? Thanks so much!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:
Did you see any pus or fluid from the mass when it was lanced (since I am concerned that this isn't a mass you want to be lancing and there is a risk your boyfriend could introduce infection and make this worse for Tuzox)?
If you have photos, that would be great. To post them, you can either use the wee paper clip on the tool bar above your text box. Or if you cannot see that on your computer/phone, then you can post them on an alternative site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, imgur, etc) and paste the web link here for me to check.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here are photos. It looks terrible because we poked it yesterday so the blood clotted on the outside. Regardless, the whole thing is purple and has always looked like this. No puss came out yesterday, as I said, only blood. Looking at it today, we are not going to lance it again. Do you think it looks benign and we should just cone him so he doesn't lick it anymore?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
First, I am so sorry to see the state of his mass for your lad. I do wish I could say that a cone is all he needed, but unfortunately I have to be honest and say that this appears much more serious.
Now I have to say that I strongly advise you do not try to lance this again. It does not look like an abscess at all and cutting into it will cause him pain and likely trigger infection itself. Instead, you will need to just bathe the open wounds with a mild antiseptic +/- use an OTC antibiotic cream until they heal.
Otherwise, I'd be more concerned that we either have benign growth that is overgrowing (potentially arising from a dysplasia of hair or gland tissue) or a tumor (ie sarcoma being our main suspect if cancerous) that has been slow growing up until now. The dark discoloration will be related to the skin being under pressure and stretch from this (a combination of hyperpigmentation but also bruising from the stretch. And the problem with this is no matter what kind of mass we have (cancer or benign), this growth is going to continue until it causes that skin to ulcerate. And when that happens, it will become a constant battle to keep the bacteria on his skin from spreading inward and causing him discomfort, infection, and recurrent issues with abscesses. So, this is truly less then ideal situation.
Now I do appreciate the difficult position that you are in and that this is bad timing. Unfortunately, growths don't take this into consideration. So, while the cone and topical care will help heal the skin sores and the cone will protect what he may do to it (and we need to be careful since the stretching of skin is uncomfortable and dogs will sometimes rip these growths open and cause even more issue), the only real intervention for something like this is surgical. There just isn't anything OTC or medical that can reduce mass size.
So, it is a poorly timed urgent situation for him. Since you noted financial difficulties, I do want to note that if you wanted to have him seen there is a chain vet practice called VCA veterinary hospitals (http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/offer) that offer a free first consult offer. This would allow you to have he seen for free, which could offset the cost of having a sample take to diagnose what this is. Otherwise, in this situation, it may be worth checking the Humane Society's database. They have a lot of branches nationwide, along with ties to other assistance organizations, that can keep down costs and subsidize care (http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_pet.html). And that may be the best option for getting him seen but also getting this treated in this unfortunate situation.
Please take care,
Dr. B.