Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Now as I am sure you can appreciate when we see any lump on our pets, we do have to consider a range of issues. Still if this is a lump could have suddenly appeared, then we'd have consider trauma induced hematomas (blood blister like lesions), soft tissue swelling, abscesses, and insect sting induced allergic reactions. Of course, if it has been there longer, then cysts, benign growths, an enlarged lymph node (if this is just under her neck by the jaw), salivary gland inflammation, and tumors (ie sarcomas, adenocarcinomas, mast cell tumors, etc) would also be a concern.
Now with these in mind, we can start some supportive care to try and rule out some of these. To start, if there is any chance of a bee/spider/wasp sting or bite, then we can reduce allergic type swelling using antihistamines. Commonly we will use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). A low dose (ie. 0.5mg per pound of body weight twice daily) is often enough to reduce these signs over a few days. We do usually like to keep the dose low, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). As well, of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.
Furthermore, to reduce swelling with any of these sudden appearing concerns, you can also start warm compressing this lump. This can reduce inflammation as well as encourage hematomas and allergic reactions to settle. Just to note, you can make a safe warmer for use as a warm compress by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required).
Now if you use the above, but the lump doesn't settle within 24 hours, then it does mean that we need to consider those other issues. In that case, the best way to approach an abnormal lump like this is to have your vet evaluate the lump via fine needle aspiration (FNA). This is where the vet uses a needle to harvest cells from the lump. If the remove pus, then this tells us that there is infection present and antibiotics can be dispensed. If blood or blood stained fluid is removed, then trauma was most likely and pain relief/pet-safe anti-inflammatories can be used to settle the swelling. Otherwise, if the above are not found, then the cells they harvest can be stained and the identity of the nature of the lump can be determined and whether it is something that is concerning or needs more serious treatment. In regards ***** ***** this can run between $50-100 depending on the practice and whether she needs sedation. And of course, further to this costs would be based on what is present and therefore what treatment was needed (ie antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, chemo, or surgery). Though your vet will always be able to provide an estimate prior to any further treatments.
Overall, if this lump is sudden in appearance, we would consider those initial sudden onset concerns. Therefore, as long as it’s not painful or obviously draining pus, then you can try the above to rule out those aforementioned concerns. Otherwise, if this doesn’t settle or may have been present for longer; then we’d want to have your vet sample this lump to identify its cause so that appropriate treatment can be initiated to address it for Penelope.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
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