Finding abnormal lumps on your dog
One of the more common presenting complaints, particularly in middle age and older pets, is the development of various skin lumps and bumps. These can range from simple skin tags, warts or fatty tumors, to more complex skin tumors and breast or mast cell tumors that can certainly have the potential to be malignant. Many dogs seem to be almost lumpy bumpy factories, sometimes developing skin tags and cysts all over their body.
And while it is important to be vigilant and have all such lumps checked out by your veterinarian, not all of these types of growths need immediate removal and surgical biopsy. By doing a simple procedure right in the office called a needle aspirate or impression smear, your veterinarian can often diagnose if a lump is anything to worry about, or can be left alone. Thus, I would always encourage a veterinary guardian to request a needle aspirate/biopsy before subjecting their dog to anesthesia and sometimes unnecessary surgery.