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Dr Rosie Brown
Dr Rosie Brown, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 181
Experience:  16 years experience in small animal practice. Dog obedience and agility trainer.
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what is this swollen golf ball sized growth on my dogs leg

Customer Question

what is this swollen golf ball sized growth on my dog's leg joint?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Rosie Brown replied 8 years ago.
Hi Pluto

It's hard to say what it is without more information on actually where it is.

There are three more common possibilities for a lump on a leg joint.

One is it is a bony lump that has grown from the bone of the leg or joint. In some cases it can be cancerous. These are usually quite hard and immobile.

Another is that the lump is a joint swelling with fluid, perhaps due to some joint injury. These lumps are usually soft and fluid feeling.

The third possibility is that it's a skin lump that happens to have grown in the skin over the joint. They are often very mobile, and may also be cancerous. Depending on the size, they can often be surgically removed.

If you can find out any more about the lump, I can perhaps advise you further. However, given the age of your dog, and the possibility of cancer in older animals, I'd suggest that you ask the kennel staff to have him examined by a vet to get a diagnosis, and from there work out a treatment plan.

All the best

Dr Rosie Brown and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
Expert:  Dr Rosie Brown replied 8 years ago.

Pluto, do you have any more information on the lump on your dog's leg? Information such as where on the leg joint the lump is, whether it is hard, fleshy or fluctuant (squishy feeling like there may be fluid in it), how long it's been there, how fast it's growing..

I don't think there's anything else anyone can tell you to answer "what is the lump" without more information, and even with more information, there's no guarantee of a diagnosis over the internet.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
there is a small sore above the lump. the kennel attendant i spoke to lately states the lump is walnut sized and squishy as if fluid filled like an abscess and it is not bothering him. the lump was noticed about 7days ago and it is not growing. the lump is on his left front elbow joint.
Expert:  Dr Rosie Brown replied 8 years ago.
That rules out a couple of possibilities.

In that location and being squishy, it's not likely to be a bony cancer, which is good.

It's also not sounding like a swollen joint filled with fluid, so that's good too.

With the scab on top, and only having been there a week, it may well be an abscess. Perhaps there's been some trauma to the skin and infection has got in. If that's the case, then the dog will possibly need to go to the vet for antibiotics and possible drainage.

It may still be a small tumor - fast growing tumors can develop erosions on the top which can become ulcerated over time.

You've really got two choices from here. One is to ask the kennel staff to take the dog to their vet and have it examined and treated. That may involve using a needle to suck out the contents and see what is in there, or they may recommend surgical removal.

Alternatively, keep an eye on it for now and see what happens over the next week or so. If it's an abscess it may rupture, or it may go away of it's own accord. If it's still there after another week, I'd get it examined.

I'm really sorry I can't offer anything more specific without examining your dog and putting a needle in the lump to examine the contents.