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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Lumps and bumps

Dear all,

I would really appreciate any advice with regards to my Labrador as I am very concerned.

I have a very healthy happy Labrador who is my world. She is seven years old and in September I noticed a lump about the size of a grape under her chest area near her belly. I promptly took her to our vets, our vet is a very friendly lovely lady who has the interest of the animals first and the business second! She said she thought it was a fatty lump and to keep an eye on it.By the end of November the lump had grown to the size of a large plum and felt very hard.

Daisy, my Lab, had also lost 2kg in six weeks which I thought was quite a lot, even though I have been cutting out the treats a little to try and reduce her tummy! My vet said she didn’t like the look or feel of the lump and decided she wanted to remove it; I was in total agreement as having lost my previous dog to cancer I didn't want to take any risks at all.

Surgery was all scheduled, but the lump had moved to further down towards the belly area, so my vet decided not to operate and took a sample instead by FNA (fine needle aspiration). The results have come back negative, but my vet wasn't 100 per cent that she got a decent sample from the lump. It has been left that we keep in touch, monitor it and play it by ear.

Daisy isn’t herself though. She is still eating and drinking fine, and exercising, but she just goes through the motions and doesn’t really have the interest in walks like she used to. I can’t say what is wrong because she isn't showing any signs of ill health, just that she isn’t right for her.

Then this week I have noticed what I think is a lump below the jaw line in her neck, exactly where a male human would have an Adam's apple. Is this the voice box I can feel? Do fatty lumps appear here or could it be a gland? I don't know what to make of it, again its the size of a grape. I am worried enough that I am checking for any symptoms daily, but feel reluctant to march her back to the vets for the fear that I am going to come across as a neurotic owner.

With regards to the first lump, do fatty lumps move about? Because it’s moving does this mean it is not a tumour?

Please help me with some advice or information on lumps because I am worrying and am frightened that this could be serious.

Kind regards from Jo Bedwell, by email


  1. As Daisy's owner, you are best placed to know when she "isn't herself".
    There are times when we don't "feel ourselves", but we know a little rest will do it, and there are other times when we know a rest isn't enough and we need a little more, sometimes even help from the doctor.
    As Daisy can't tell you what is wrong, you have to make your best guess. I've had my dog down to the vets three times in the past month for the same problem; but the last time we were down we were given some advice, and it has been that (alongside the pills on the first and second trips) that has really helped. Without that third trip, Inka would still be suffering.

    Did I feel bad for taking him to the vets "again"?
    No, I didn't. He needed more help than I was capable of giving him.
    Am I glad I took him down "again"?
    Absolutely, he is doing better every day.

  2. Its not neurotic Jo..its being a caring responsible pet owner ..the Vets would be my suggestion, even if its nothing to worry about. Better safe than sorry as they say. It could be grissle..but if new ones are appearing randomly, I would definately get them checked out..good luck to you and dear Daisy, I hope all will be ok x

  3. Fine needle aspiration isn't 100% accurate as if the needle doesn't aspirate the cells in questions it will give a negative result. I would take her back to the vets and have lump removed. The fact of other lumps appearing could be indicative of something more serious such as lymph nodes which can also enlarge with infections but fatty lumps can also appear in odd places too. Trust your instincts that she is off colour, it may be nothing serious but it is always better to see. I'm a doctor not a vet but a lifelong dog lover and dog trainer in my spare time.

  4. This is such a worry and the best thing you can do is go back to the vets if you can. If they are not sure they can always refer you to a specialist clinic but they are very expensive so its not always an option. As most of us here are only pet owners the best advice is to go back and you would not be neurotic just trying to do the very best for your lovely dog. Hope it all works out well for your Both.

  5. If it's any help to you one of my dogs has had loads of grape like lumps he has had a couple removed and they have been fine - just fatty lumps. They syringed them first and if they weren't sure he had then taken off but I can say that most of his fatty lumps have been ok touch wood. He had a warty lump taken off and that was a really aggressive form of cancer, that was 2 years ago. Touch wood everything ok. I do have a facebook friend who had a greyhound with a fatty lump and that was a very aggressive form of cancer - he was sent to a Specialist Hospital had it removed and is fine now. That was May this year.

  6. Thank you for your replies.Really appreciate any advice.I did call my vet and she said it is possible that Daisy has a swollen larynx due to having the tube down her throat ready for when they were going to operate on the previous lump.I have to monitor things and see how she does.Daisy is still not herself and I am not sure the larynx would swell to that size from 10 days ago.Plus it feels like a hardish ball.
    Thank you for offering your advice.

  7. FNA is definately not always accurate, as my beautiful Golden Retriever had this in the first instance, when he along with a skin problem developed a lump under his jaw.

    Unfortunately it turned out to be skin cancer and Lymphoma, which spread into his chest. I would urge you to get your vet to check for this, blood tests, X-rays as well as by biopsy. It is better to know what you are facing, then you can take action should it be the worse case situation.

  8. If you have a multivet practice why not book an appointment with a different vet? It might be good to get another opinion.