The lump may not be an emergency, but it should be tested.(Photo: Flickr/Paul J Everett)
Q: My 5-year-old Yorkie has a hard bump on his back. When I took him to the vet last month, she said that I shouldn't worry about it. Now it feels like it's getting bigger. He isn't acting any differently than normal. The bump is under the skin, but hair is growing on it and it just looks like the kind of pimple that humans get under the skin. Should I be worried?
A: Unfortunately without some simple tests there is no way to ever be sure it is not a tumor. It may be nothing more than a cyst or a little fatty lipoma, but again there is no way to be sure yet. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is not having a lump tested until it is too late.
Since this seems to have grown I would suggest having this looked at by the vet again and some testing done. Your vet can start with a very inexpensive test called a FNA (Fine Needle Aspirant). This is where they remove a few cells from the lump with a needle. This is not painful and does not require anesthesia. Once the cells are aspirated form the lump they are then sprayed on a slide and stained for viewing under the microscope. Most vets can read these slides, but you always have the option to send it to a pathologist. In most cases they can tell what this is by the types of cells present.
Once you know what types of cells are present then with the assistance of your vet you can make a better decision on whether this is something that needs to be removed or just watched.
-- Answer from Candy R., a veterinary technician on JustAnswer.
Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided by a Expert on JustAnswer.