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VetInternist, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Staff Internist and Medical Director
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my dog has a lump on his body by his rib cage. what could it

Resolved Question:

my dog has a lump on his body by his rib cage. what could it be?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  VetInternist replied 8 years ago.
The most common cutaneous masses we find on dogs are lipomas. These are benign masses made of fat cells. Usually lipomas are just under the skin and are not firmly attached to the tissue comprising the body wall. Cysts are also common and usually don't cause any harm to the dog. More serious causes for a lump include mast cell tumors, various round cell tumors (lymphosarcoma, histiocytic sarcoma, etc) These tumors are usually firmly attached to the tissue beneath the skin, but not always. If the lump is attached to a rib, osteosarcoma is another possibility. There are also some infectious causes for lumps. Fungal disease, like blastomycosis, can form cutaneous granulomas. These often break open and ooze when they get too large. Usually there is more than one lump present with a disease like this. Abscesses can also form a lump and usually are treated best with manual drainage and oral antibiotics. Unfortunately it is impossible to identify a mass by simply looking at it.

If you would like to find out what the lump is, it is best to visit your veterinarian and ask him to evaluate it. Likely, he will stick a needle in it and look at the cells under a microscope. This can often give you a diagnosis quickly and relatively cheaply. If cytological evaluation does not give you a diagnosis, your veterinarian can take a biopsy of the lump. With all these options, I wouldn't worry too much until we get a diagnosis. Most lumps we find are benign and don't cause a problem.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Shadwick

Please let me know if this has been helpful. Feedback is always appreciated.
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