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Dr. Gene
Dr. Gene, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2680
Experience:  DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College
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My dog has a red lump the side of her leg she keeps licking

Customer Question

my dog has a red lump the side of her leg she keeps licking it what could it be
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 1 year ago.

Hi there!

If you have a picture, that would be great (you could attach it to this post). If not, I have a few questions:

1. How big is this lump?
2. Does this appear to be growing out of the skin or under the skin?
3. Is hair missing over the lump?
4. Is it smooth or irregular?
5. How long has it been there?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
about and inch, under the skin, hair is missing, its smooth, and about 6 months
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 1 year ago.

Got it, thanks!

Any skin lump, especially when found in a dog that is older than 4-5 years or in certain breeds, can be cancerous. Many skin tumors, benign or cancerous look similar to each other and because of this, any new lump should be biopsied to find out what it is. Your description of the lump, the fact that it's on a limb (cancerous tumors are relatively common on limbs) and Abby's age are concerning. I would recommend visiting your veterinarian for a needle biopsy, which is quick and relatively inexpensive. Once you find out what it is, you could then make decisions on what to do, based on the results. I would not wait long because the larger it becomes, the more difficult it is to treat and the more likely it is to spread to other organs, if it turns out to be cancerous.

Based on your description, I would suspect one of the following:

1. Mast cell tumor (cancer)
2. Soft tissue sarcoma (cancer)
3. Inflamed cyst (benign)
4. Localized infection (abscess, benign)
5. Lipoma (benign)

Hope this helps! Please let me know what other questions I can help with, if any!

Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 1 year ago.
Hi Shelly,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Abby. How is everything going?
Dr. Gene