Lumps and Bumps in Senior Pets

As dogs get older, it is very common to find the appearance of various lumps and bumps either above the skin, or felt under the skin. Some dogs may have multiple growths all over the body.   In fact, the incidence of skin growths in dogs is probably much higher than it is in people. Fortunately, most of these growths are benign ones such as warts, cysts, skin tags and fatty tumors known as lipomas.While benign growths comprise the vast majority of these lumps, malignant cancers known as mast cell tumors may sometimes mimic other growths. If in doubt, a veterinary exam and needle aspiration of the lump will often distinguish mast cell tumors from the more common benign growths outlined here.

After 20 years of clinical experience, both as a holistic and traditional veterinarian, I am convinced that over-vaccination of adult and senior pets plays a significant role in many of these growths.  In fact, the homeopathic remedy Thuja is often quite helpful in the management of many of these cases, and is one of the major remedies in treating diseases brought about by vaccination.

While one must follow the law with regards to rabies vaccination, I would strongly recommend skipping other core viral vaccinations such as parvo and distemper in adult pets previously vaccinated.  Fortunately there are now blood vaccination antibody tests, which can document existing immunity, thus avoiding giving vaccines that are no longer necessary.

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  2. My second born, Endica, is 13 years old, resently she has been having seizures and 1 stroke, we have had her on Phenobarbatol, Epakitin, and a thiroid medication, per our vet. She was going a lot better and the Vet said to put her down to 1/2 pill of the Phenabarbatol, one in the morning and once at night, she was on 1 full pill morning and night. About three days after the change, she started having Seizues again, she has had 6 in the last two days. I have put her back on the full pill twice a day, it has been two days and she, as we speak, just had another one and is walking around dazed and confused, panting. Would that much of a change occur? If the pills will again continue to help, I would not have to think about having to put her to sleep (she is my girl). But if she is going to keep have the seizures, I do not want to keep putting her through that.

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Hopefully the higher dose will help control the seizures again. Your vet can also consider using other seizure meds like gabba pentin or potassium bromide if phenobarbitol by itself does not help control them. You also may want to consult a holistic vet like myself to help with diet and supplements that may help lessen the seizures and enhance quality of life. To learn more see my website Many holistic vets do offer phone consultations.

  4. Thank you Doctor. She has not had another seizure since this afternoon, but she is walking around a lot in a bit of a daze. She has caught herself in a couple corners. Is there anything I can give her that will help this? I’ve done the eye rub. I just wish I could get her to lay down and get some sleep. Thank you again for you helpful words.

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Try natural calming agents like be serene from 1800petmeds. Also flower essence called rescue remedy from local health food store may help as well.

  6. I have a 12 yr. old american pitbull female she has lumps of different sizes on her body vet said fat tumors but the on on her hip seems to be interfiering with her waking musle controll is there anything we can give her to shrink the tumors with out a expencive vet bill

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Not alot that can be done with many of these. I would not worry about the fatty tumors as they will not cause problems with other organs or spread elsewhere.

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  9. would human wart meds, like the freeze off type, be used on the smaller warts?

  10. My 10-year old dog has a small marble-sized wart at top of nail bed. Wart (much smaller then) was surgically removed 16 mos ago but began to reappear ~7mos. ago. He periodically (2x/year +/-) also has pustules between the toes next to the nail w/ wart which began to appear years before the wart ever did. Pustules were most recently treated for two weeks w/ prednisone, cipro, zyrtec, and zinc supp. He recovered fully after and more thoroughly than w/ other (just Simplicef) treatments. However after one more prescribed week of just prednisone, ‘wound’ (not exactly a pustule as before) returned between toes next to wart. Then fourth week of prednisone was prescribed along w/ three more weeks of cipro. After one week, no noticeable improvement. Now suspect this ‘wound’ is due to licking wart on nail altho’ wart itself doesn’t appear more irritated. For last four days have been swabbing wart with castor oil 2x/day w/ hope of relieving any irritation. What do you suggest?

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Sounds like surgery would be next option if symptoms persist. Only other option would be to work with homeopathic vet in your area on different approach. To learn more see or my website Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations.

  12. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Surgery would be next option. You could consult with homeopathic vet in your area for different approach. To learn more see or my website Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations.

  13. My 16 year old Yorkie is on vetmedin and another heart pill and has a terrible cough. The vet said it was a collapsing trachea. He said give her baby cough syrup. It works sometimes but she coughs when she runs up the stairs and and physical activity. Is there anything else I can do? I give her 1/2 of a Listerine sheet from the breath freshener and it seems to help. Will this hurt her?

  14. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 3, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I dont think listerine will hurt her, but I would ask your vet about prescription cough medicine like hycodan which is often effective in dogs with coughing like this.

  15. I have a chocolate lab and she has two lumps on her chest and one on her front leg by the elbow. Are they fatty tumors.They don’t seem to bother her Should anything be done?

  16. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 12, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I would have vet check of lumps and have needle aspirate done to tell you if benign fatty tumor or other possible diagnosis.

  17. Having read this I thought it was very informative.
    I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this informative article together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting.

    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  18. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you Latisha for your kind comments.

  19. It would be invaluable to most pet owners if you could describe the characteristics of malignant tumors, bumps and mole-like growths. A friend has a pitbull, around 12 yrs old and who has gotten many lumps and growths all over her. My friend says they are harmless but I think she should know something more of what she is looking at. Thanks by the way for your work, especially with holistic meds.

  20. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 23, 2013 at 10:19 am

    HI Sooz… Thanks for your kind words. Any lump or bump should be evaluated by a veterinarian and possibly aspirated to differentiate between benign fatty growths and potentially more malignant growths like mast cell tumors.

  21. I have a dog that is 15 years old and he has a fatty tumor on his back, my vet has checked him out and said he is to old to remove it, but it drains around the tumor so I keep the hair cut back away from it and keep it clean. I have tried many spray and antibiotics but it still drains. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on this?

  22. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Not much you can do medically for this. You could try natural immune products like oncosupport from 1800petmeds, as well as transfer factor

  23. My 15 year old Yorkie mix, has a Fatty Tumor between
    his front legs hang almost to the floor, it is a size of
    a large Orange has hair, but no drainage…. The Vet
    said he is too old for surgery,. Other than this he acts
    completely healthy, I need suggestions as to how
    I can hoist this tumor up….. Thank you..

  24. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 20, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Not much you can do at home on this. you could try natural detoxifying remedies like the gemmotherapies Common Birch and Common Juniper which you can learn about and find on line. Also using the homeopathic remedy Thuja 30c potency short term one pellot dosed once weekly for 4 weeks only also may help. However best to consult with homeopathic veterinarian on more individualized approach here. To learn more see as well as my website

  25. Our 12 yr old terrier/retriever 46 lb mix has wart on hind leg; vet has me putting 2 drops of DMSO, SYNOTIC, on it 2x a day. It has gotten down to a small lump from the size of about 1/3 a golf ball. When I first started with the DMSO in April 2013, I stopped after the first 8 ml bottle was used up; lasted about 2 months and by July I noticed it had gotten bigger. I didn’t realize my vet had wanted me to continue treatment. Since July 2013 I’ve been putting 2 drops on 2X a day. I am worried about the long term affects. I clipped the hair around the wart for better application and except for 4-5 black hairs in the middle, it’s never grown back. I don’t know if that means anything. Should I continue until the bump is entirely gone?

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