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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21260
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog has a lump on his stomach that's the size of the palm

Customer Question

My dog has a lump on his stomach that's the size of the palm of my hand. I know I have to take him to the vet, but I was hoping to do a little online research too
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: I'm worried that's it's something serious. His name is ***** ***** pit bull weighing in about 100 lbs and he will be turning 8 in November. He's had lumps on him before, and the vet has seen them, done biopsies on them and they all came back benign. He said that has dogs get older, especially of his size, they are prone to start getting lumps. But the size of this one has me worried, especially of how quickly it grew. It doesn't seem to bother him at all - just me (mom).
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Chico?
Customer: No.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B,a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has this been present?
Is it getting bigger?

Is it hard, soft, firm, or fluidy?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I noticed it a few days ago. It grew it only one night. It hasn't gotten any bigger since then. It's not fluidy. It seems hard.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I took a picture (attached) so you can see the size of it.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

Now as I am sure you can appreciate when we see any lump on our pets, we do have to consider a range of issues. Still if this is a lump that has suddenly appeared, then issues like nasty cancers, cysts, and benign growths would be less likely. Instead, when we consider those lumps that could arise this quickly. So, we’d need to consider trauma induced hematomas (blood blister like lesions), soft tissue swelling, abscesses, and insect sting induced allergic reactions. And any of these could appear as we are seeing in the photo, though it looks a bit large for an allergic reaction.

Now with these in mind, we can start some supportive care to try and rule out some of these. To start, if there is any chance or a bee/spider/wasp sting or bite, then we can reduce allergic type swelling using antihistamines. Commonly we will use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine; More Info/Dose). A low dose (ie. 0.5mg per pound of body weight twice daily) is often enough to reduce these signs over a few days. We do usually like to keep the dose low in dogs, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). As well, of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Furthermore, to reduce swelling with any of these sudden appearing concerns, you can also start warm compressing this lump. This can reduce inflammation as well as encourage hematomas and allergic reactions to settle. Just to note, you can make a safe warmer for use as a warm compress by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required).

Now if you use the above, but the lump doesn't settle with our supportive care, then we'd need to think about those other issues. In that case, the best way to approach an abnormal lump like this is to have your vet evaluate the lump via fine needle aspiration (FNA). This is where the vet uses a needle to harvest cells from the lump. If they remove pus, then this tells us that there is infection present and antibiotics can be dispensed. If clear fluid is removed, then a cyst would be suspect and drained for him. If blood or blood stained fluid is removed, then trauma was most likely and pain relief/dog-safe anti-inflammatories can be used to settle the swelling. Otherwise, if the above are not found, then the cells they harvest can be stained to tell us what is present and whether it is something that needs more serious treatment.

Overall, if this lump is sudden in appearance, we would consider those initial sudden onset concerns. Therefore, as long as it’s not painful or obviously draining pus, then you can try the above to rule out those aforementioned concerns. Otherwise, if this doesn’t settle or may have been present for longer then a day; then we’d want to have your vet sample this lump to identify its cause so that appropriate treatment can be initiated to address it for your wee one.

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you so much, Dr. B! This has helped so much! I already have an appointment with our vet for next week, so I will try the rice beforehand. Again, THANK YOU!-Chico & Mom
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

I am glad I could give you a plan of action for Chico. :)

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello again,

How is everything with your wee one?

Dr. B