Different Causes of Lumps and Bumps in Dogs and Cats

Lumps and bumps on dogs or cats can have many causes and can be benign or malignant. Your vet can give you an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, but here’s some information about common causes of lumps and bumps.

Did your dog or cat recently develop a tumor? Finding lumps and bumps on your fur baby can be scary, but there are lots of potential causes.  Abscesses, cysts, and even insect bites can all cause lumps and bumps. Let’s look at the different types and what you should do if you find a lump on your animal companion.

Benign Tumors

A lump that’s not cancerous is called benign. Treatment options can include surgical removal. Here are some examples of benign lumps:

Histiocytoma: This is generally considered a benign skin tumor in dogs. It is a type of skin growth that usually resolves itself with no treatment. However, it is good to have it checked by a veterinarian to confirm its nature and to ensure the well-being of your dog.

Lipoma: This is a fatty lump that’s generally harmless. Nonetheless, you may choose to remove one if it’s affecting mobility or causing discomfort. These are common in older dogs. Lipomas can often reappear, but they aren’t malignant and don’t spread.

Malignant Tumors


A malignant tumor is one that’s cancerous. There are different types of malignant lumps, and some are much more severe than others. Malignant tumors can metastasize (spread to other parts of the body), which is why it’s so important to get your dog or cat to the vet when you find lumps and bumps.

What’s more, malignant tumors have a higher risk of reappearing compared to benign ones. The likelihood of recurrence depends on various factors, such as the type of cancer, the stage, the effectiveness of the treatment, and individual patient factors.

Mast cell tumors are a common type of skin cancer that can cause lumps and bumps. Treatment depends on factors like the location, size, and grade of the tumor. Options may include surgical removal, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments. It is important to follow the recommended treatment plan and have regular check-ups and follow-ups scheduled.

What Pet Parents Should Do if They Discover a Lump

Schedule a veterinary consultation right away. The vet will likely perform a fine needle aspiration. This is where the vet uses a thin needle to extract fluid or cells from the tumor. They’ll send a sample to cytology and study it under a microscope to help determine the cause. This is a relatively simple and minimally invasive procedure that enables the vet to diagnose the lump and determine a treatment.


Nikki Sh

Nikki Sh is a content creator, and she posts about animals and lifestyle while being incredibly passionate about animals, especially her chickens! She has been doing Instagram content creation, podcasts, and eBooks, along with children’s coloring books. She has worked with animals as a vet care assistant for the past four years along with her social media account @officialdogsforlife

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