You found some lumps and bumps on your pet… now what?
- Book an appointment with your veterinarian.
- Your veterinarian will assess them mass (along with a full physical exam of your pet) and take a fine needle biopsy from the mass.
- A fine needle biopsy can be done while your pet is awake. The area of skin over the mass is scrubbed clean and then a needle is quickly poked into the mass. A sample of cells is drawn up through the needle into a syringe. The sample of cells is then put onto a microscope slide, fixed and stained. The veterinarian then analyzes the cells under the microscope.
- Depending on the type of cells seen under the microscope, recommendations will be made by your veterinarian to have the mass surgically removed or to continue to monitor its size and shape (if a mass does not show cancerous cells under the microscope then it is usually ok to monitor the mass as long as your pet is comfortable). Sometimes masses will become an irritant to your pet and if they lick or chew at it, it will become infected.
- If the mass is surgically removed, it can be sent to the lab for complete analysis. The lab will be able to report back about the type of mass, the aggressiveness of the cells and whether or not they think more tissue needs to be removed from your pet (if they think the mass has a high chance of re-growth).
- If a mass has been surgically removed, your pet is not allowed to lick or chew at the stitches. They need to stay calm (short leash walks only for dogs!), clean and dry until the surgical site has completely healed (usually 10-14 days). A cone collar is used to keep your pet from being able to get at their incision. They are able to eat, drink, sleep, walk around, poop and pee with their cone collar on.