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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11099
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My dog has a huge Cyst by shoulder area size of a quarter

Customer Question

My dog has a huge Cyst by shoulder area size of a quarter and another grown smaller size of a dime what might this b
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 4 months ago.

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today!

By describing the lumps as cysts that indicates they have been diagnosed as such, are soft, fluctuant and appear to be fluid-filled. If they have not been diagnosed or are not described as these then a veterinary exam is warranted. Most common in the breed we see sebaceous tumors which are masses that are benign yet filled with a thicker material. Or they can also have adenomas which are also benign but solid masses that can grow or be stagnant in size.

First and foremost, in order to determine if they are benign (noncancerous) lumps versus malignant (cancerous) lumps is to have your veterinarian evaluate and aspirate (poke with a needle) the lumps to evaluate the material under the microscope

This is really the only way to differentiate the concerning from the non concerning lumps definitively because a cancerous versus a noncancerous lump can appear identical on presentation

Evaluation under the microscope will be looking at the lump at a cellular level. Do the cells look normal, is it sebaceous or oil material that is benign or even fatty material indicating a lipoma or are the cells abnormal in appearance? This information is critical in order to diagnose the lump origin and whether it should be removed sooner versus later

Some tell tale signs that a lump might be more of a concern include whether it is rapidly growing, it is bothersome (scratching, licking), it is not easily picked up from the underlying tissue indicating it is attached to the muscle layer. This can be helpful but not 100 % definitive as a fine needle aspiration would be

I always advise photographing the lump with a ruler or coin next to the lump to measure the size weekly or in dark skinned dogs where it is not as readily viewable measuring with a ruler on a regular basis

Please let me know if this information makes sense and any additional questions I can assist with today

If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION at the top of your screen (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks!

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 4 months ago.

I am glad to see you were able to view my responses earlier

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today!

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