How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Altman Your Own Question
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10924
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Altman is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 8 yr. old 8lb. female Maltese has a raised area (or a

Customer Question

My 8 yr. old 8lb. female Maltese has a raised area (or a rather flat bump) on her left back beside the tail area. Is this maybe just a fatty tumor?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 months ago.

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

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. With her breed a fatty tumor is not likely because I rarely see lipomas in Maltese but they are at risk for sebaceous adenomas or oil gland masses that are benign.

An aspiration 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 1 month 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, I am online another 30 minutes tonight

If the information I have provided was helpful I would be grateful if you would rate our chat at the top of the screen so I am compensated for my time. Thank you and best of luck to you both, truly!

Related Dog Veterinary Questions