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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19615
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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Large, soft lump on front arm-part of dog's left leg. She is

Customer Question

large, soft lump on front arm-part of dog's left leg. She is very active for 14, running, jumping, playing; and the lump doesn't seem to bother her yet. It was discovered several months ago by the groomer. It is slow-growing, but has grown since she found it.
My vet has examined it and immediately said it was cancer and that her leg should be amputated. He did no biopsy. I do not want her leg amputated but I would consider removing the lump.
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 with your wee one today. First, I am glad to hear that Lexi's lump isn't causing her any bother, but if it is growing and on her leg we do need to tread with care. This is because if it is allowed to grow too big (and since legs only have so much skin to spare), it is possible that your vet won't be able to remove it once it gets to a particular size. With that in mind, I'd note that with a mass as you have described, we'd be most concerns of possible cysts, a fatty lump (lipoma), a benign growth or a nasty cancer (ie muscle based sarcoma, gland based adenocarcinoma, mast cell tumor). And with those few to be wary of and since you reported this slowly growing as of late, you may want to consider having it at least checked and tested before you go to make sure its not something that needs to be removed urgently. In regards ***** ***** you can have your vet evaluate the mass via fine needle aspiration (FNA). This is where the vet uses a needle to harvest cells from the mass. If the remove pus, then this tells us that there is infection present and antibiotics can be dispensed. If fatty material is removed, then its just a lipoma and one needs removing if it getting overly large (but likely not urgently). If clear fluid is removed, then a cyst would be likely and it could be drained so it causes no issue while you are away. Otherwise, if the above are not found, then the cells they harvest can be stained and the identity of the nature of the mass can be determined and whether it is something that is concerning or needs more serious treatment. Overall, if this mass is growing and it is on a part of the body with limited skin, we need to be careful here. So, even if you aren't keen to have surgery before you go, you could have this tested to determine what it is and whether the delay is a safe option. And I'd note that if she is due a booster soon, you could move that appointment up so that you can have your vet sample this mass at the same time to keep costs down. And that way we'd know what is present and know how best to address it for her. Please take care,Dr. B. PS- You are picking good time to visit, as we have been having lovely warm weather here in Scotland as of late. :)-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )