A few days ago I noticed a weird lump on my dog's left side. It is the shape and size of a match stick and sits just under the skin. My best guess is that it's a giant sliver. There is a small scab on one end of the lump that may have been the entry point, but nothing is sticking out like a normal sliver you get in your finger. What should I do about it? Is it worth taking him to a vet to get it looked at? He isn't in any sort of distress but he does flinch if you push on it. Money is tight, so I don't want to go in to see a vet just to have them charge me for "oh, it's nothing to worry about". Thanks in advance for any advice.
Type of Animal: dog
Age: 18 months
Name of Animal: moses
Tried pushing it out through the skin. Nothing moved.
From your description, it does sound like your dog has a small foreign body under the skin. A piece of a stick is the most likely, particularly if he runs around in a woody or shrubby area.
The biggest concern is infection under the skin, so I think it would be worthwhile for you to try and remove it. I would approach it sort of like you would if you had a sliver. Put warm compresses on the area (a wash cloth soaked in hot water and then wrung out works well), pull off the scab, and see if you can work the sliver back toward the hole. If so, hopefully you'll be able to grab it with a tweezers and pull it out.
If you get it out, then clean the area with 3% hydrogen peroxide for a couple days and monitor it for any pus, redness, or inflammation.
If you can't get it out or it is just too painful for your dog OR you do get it out but there is an infection there, you'll need to take Moses to your regular vet. They may need to sedate him and remove it that way and they will likely put him on antibiotics.
I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
What Happens Now?Your chat has ended, but you can still work with your Expert to get an answer to your question if you have not yet received one.Come back to this page at any time to see additional information from your Expert. You will also receive an email when your question is updated. If you want to send a message to your Expert, use the box below.If you have already received a satisfactory answer to your question, click the Accept button above. Experts are credited for each accepted answer they provide.