If your pet has a lump, Bicester Vets may advise you to have it removed. There are several possible reasons for the removal:
- The lump may be irritating to your pet causing chewing or scratching which can lead to infection.
- If the lump is large and/or in an awkward place, it may be prone to getting knocked and damaged or affect your pet’s mobility.
- Certain lumps have features which make their presence a little more concerning – lumps that are fast growing, ulcerated and firmly attached are more likely to be cancerous and may spread to other parts of the body. Your vet will usually advise such lumps should be sent for histology upon removal to get a more certain diagnosis.
Removing a lump requires a general anaesthetic.
Very small lumps, such as small warts and skin tags can be cauterised. As the blood vessels are sealed by the heat, there is no need for stitches.
The procedure for larger lumps is more involved. Your pet will be anaesthetised and the area around the lump clipped and then thoroughly cleaned. The vet will then carefully remove the lump from the underlying tissue.
Lump removal often leaves an empty space which the vet closes down inside with dissolvable stitches. If the lump was on the lower part of the body, this space can fill up with fluid. The vet may decide to place a drain to enable this fluid to seep out. Drains are usually removed by a vet a few days later in a follow up consultation.
The length of the operation will depend on the size and number of the lumps and how firmly attached they are to the body. Usually though, the operation takes less than an hour. Your pet may be sent home with a short course of antibiotics to prevent infection and or extra pain killers.
The stitches will be removed about 10 days after the operation.
For an additional cost, suspicious lumps may be sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope. Results may take up to a week. The pathologist will be able to tell whether the lump is cancerous, whether it has been completely removed and whether it is likely to spread.
However, most lumps can be fully removed and many are benign in nature. If your pet’s lump proves to be malignant, Bicester Vets will discuss the options for further treatment, which may involve chemotherapy.
At this point, x-rays of the lungs can be helpful in deciding how serious the situation is.