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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It is possible that is is a Lipoma, or fatty tumor. These are not dangerous but can be uncomfortable depending on the location and size. With masses or tumor so recommend one of two paths. 1) a fine needle aspirate with possible removal depending on results. This is non invasive and can be done in the exam room. Sometimes you don’t get a clear diagnosis due to the small sample size, and if it is something you want removed then your dog will need to come back for removal. 2) schedule a removal and then based on your veterinarians recommendations, send it to a pathologist for review. I usually prefer the second option, unless I am 100% certain it is a lipoma.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

A tumor can either be benign or malignant. Dr. Whittenburg notes, “Cancerous masses may be rapidly growing and therefore seem to appear suddenly.
Sudden lumps on a dog can be caused by anything from allergies, infections or even tumors. There is no way to know what the sudden lump may be without going into your dogs body and looking it over closely.
Histiocytomas are an abnormal growth of immune cells in the skin, and are often seen on young dogs. These masses can look angry, because of their bright red color and “bubbled” surface. They often appear overnight and sometimes will disappear without treatment.
In dogs, the most common type of malignant skin cancer is a mast cell tumor. These tumors are superficial lumps that can be painful. They often swell, frequently bleed and then scab over, only to bleed again a few days later. They should not be squeezed by the owner, as squeezing can make them swell even more.
Sometimes lumps can appear on dogs overnight — if they don`t seem to bother your pet, you can monitor the growth at home until your next vet visit. But, if your dog starts licking or scratching the bump, or it changes in appearance, contact your vet as soon as possible.
Skin squamous cell carcinoma is the most commonly diagnosed form of skin cancer in dogs. These tumors appear as raised wart-like patches or lumps that are firm to the touch and are most often found on the dog`s head, lower legs, rear, and abdomen.
They may advise you to keep a watchful eye on it and bring your pup in for a biopsy if the lump continues past three months, is more than an inch in diameter, or continues to grow or change shape.
One of the best ways to identify a potentially cancerous lump is to evaluate how that tumor feels when touched. Compared to the soft, fatty characteristics of a lipoma, a cancerous lump will be harder and firm to the touch, appearing as a hard immovable lump on your dog.
Can lipomas in dogs grow fast? Lipomas are traditionally slow-growing tumors. If you find a mass that seems to have appeared overnight, it is unlikely to be a lipoma.
This is often brought on by stress, anxiety, or boredom. The lesions that result tend to red, well-rounded, and raised bumps. Controlling the underlying issues such as anxiety or stress is often the solution. Fitting an Elizabethan collar on the dog also helps to manage the obsessive behavior.
It depends on how aggressive or advanced the particular cancer is. By the time it`s detected, some dogs will live weeks to months, while others will live for years. Lymphoma patients, for instance, can live several years.
Of submitted samples, 20% to 40% are reported to be malignant. The most common malignant skin tumors in dogs are mast cell tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, and squamous cell carcinomas. The most common benign canine skin and subcutaneous benign tumors include lipomas, histiocytomas, and perianal gland adenomas.
A soft tissue sarcoma lump on the outside of the body can appear suddenly as a rounded mass beneath the skin, usually on your arm, leg, chest, or torso. It can be soft or firm and grows noticeably bigger in weeks and months after it is first discovered.
They may grow quickly, over the course of a few weeks. More commonly they grow slowly over months or years. In advanced cases, the skin overlying the tumor can ulcerate or break open. This leaves dogs susceptible to pain and infection.
Cancerous or malignant tumors can be hard or soft. The feel of a mass and whether it bothers your dog has little to do with whether it is cancerous or not.
If the sebaceous cyst is breaking open, bleeding, becoming infected, or won`t go away, your veterinarian may recommend surgical removal. Sebaceous cyst removal via surgery is the most effective type of treatment. This is especially the case if the cyst has ruptured or has become infected.
Lipomas are benign (noncancerous), freely movable, relatively slow-growing, fat-filled tumors that are quite common in dogs, especially older ones. They are soft, easily manipulated, and located just under your dog`s skin.
Fatty Tumor (Lipomas) in Dogs

Frequently seen in middle-aged and senior dogs, simple lipomas are painless, soft, and mobile lumps made up of fat cells. Although most often found on the on the abdomen and chest these lumpy masses can develop anywhere, just under the skin, on your dog`s body.

It is recommended that pet owners take note of pet lumps and bumps when first observed. If it is larger than a pea and sticks around for a month or more, it`s time to figure out what`s going on. While they can definitely be harmless, it`s a good idea to keep ahead of pet lumps and bumps.
Contact Your Vet

If you`ve found a lump or bump on your pet, give us a call right away to make an appointment. Because the difference between a benign mass and something more serious isn`t always obvious, your veterinarian needs to take a look.

If the lump has solid components, due to tissue rather than liquid or air, it could be either benign or malignant. However, the only way to confirm whether a cyst or tumor is cancerous is to have it biopsied by your doctor. This involves surgically removing some or all of the lump.
Lipoma. The most common benign lump that dogs develop, a lipoma is a fat-filled tumor found under the skin of middle-aged or older dogs and is considered a natural part of aging. These soft, rounded, non-painful masses grow slowly and rarely spread.
Skin Growths

They are often painful and can contain large amounts of blood and pus with the possibility of rupturing. Apocrine Cysts: These cysts are caused by obstructed skin glands. Think of them much like a human pimple. They may also rupture, which often helps clear them up.

A lipoma usually grows slowly and is a nonpainful mass that is soft and moveable under the skin. Lipomas can also be associated with other syndromes where they are not so harmless.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. My dog has a baseball sized lump that popped up out of nowhere it doesn’t seem to be bothering her there is no redness no swelling anywhere else
ANSWER : A. It is possible that is is a Lipoma, or fatty tumor. These are not dangerous but can be uncomfortable depending on the location and size. With masses or tumor so recommend one of two paths. 1) a fine needle aspirate with possible removal depending on results. This is non invasive and can be done in the exam room. Sometimes you don’t get a clear diagnosis due to the small sample size, and if it is something you want removed then your dog will need to come back for removal. 2) schedule a removal and then based on your veterinarians recommendations, send it to a pathologist for review. I usually prefer the second option, unless I am 100% certain it is a lipoma.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. My Beagle listens to me, but cries & whines when I’m gone & doesn’t listen to my parents. I adopted him just a couple days ago. Any tips for my folks?
ANSWER : A. I really highly doubt that your Beagle listens to you and has formed a connection with you in just a couple of days. It takes months to build up any kind of serious connection with your dog. You need to work on communication with your dog through training them to understand different cues. For instance the Leave-It cue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

You have to work on bonding with your dog through mental stimulation. Training is very important. Luring each new behavior from scratch, and training using treats is how you form a strong bond with your new dog. No scolding is ever necessary… work on being calm, and positive, all the time.

If your dog is crying/whining when you leave, this may be separation anxiety. You’re going to have to separation train this dog from scratch. This dog needs to learn that separation can be a good thing! Tell your “folks” to NOT scold the dog when he is crying/whining after you leave, because that will make your dog MORE anxious when you leave next time. Your dog will be dwelling on the negative if your parents fuel your dogs negative feelings towards you leaving. FUN things should happen when you leave. Your parents should pull out the treats and start doing some basic obedience training with your dog. Your parents should stuff a Kong filled with awesome treats (peanut butter) and give it to him so he feels happy when you leave.

I have some excellent separation anxiety exercises you can work on. If you’d like, you can purchase a consultation with me, and I will go over how to separation train from scratch. It will make your dog comfortable being alone, guaranteed.

Read Full Q/A … : I Don't Like My Mother

Q. My dog doesn’t eat, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. If this is a puppy, see a veterinarian immediately. Puppies should want to eat. Common causes for anorexia in puppies include viruses (parvo is a big one), parasitism, and foreign bodies. They need immediate care – go to an emergency vet if yours isn’t open. Puppies can get low blood sugar and dehydration very quickly.

If this is an adult dog and you observe other concerning signs, such as diarrhea or decreased energy, you should see a veterinarian.

If the dog seems otherwise bright and stable, try offering different types of food: wet food, canned tripe, or cooked chicken and rice. Some dogs will go for canned baby food: chicken, turkey, or beef as the main ingredient. Make sure there are no garlic or onions in the ingredients!

Causes of anorexia in adult dogs can range from less serious to severe. Younger dogs are more likely to get into trouble- they tend to eat things they shouldn’t, and can get foreign bodies from eating things like socks, or stomach upset from getting in the trash. Any dog may stop eating due to stress, or just being a picky eater. Middle aged dogs can stop eating when they’re stressed and also have Addison’s disease, which can be fatal. Older dogs tend to stop eating when they develop cancer or renal disease.

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe to know when the right time is to take your dog to the vet. The moral of this story is, if it’s not getting better, your pup feels bad, or you’re worried – go see the vet!

Read Full Q/A … : My Dog Won’t Eat

Q. My dog licks his feet and legs and they are turning brown. He is a white dog. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. Licking the feet and legs can be caused by a number of things in dogs including allergies, illness or even stress behaviors. Allergies are the most common in dogs, with yeast infections coming in second. Allergies can cause the area to become red and itching, making your dog want to lick and chew on them. Over time, the area may become stained from saliva, especially in lighter or white-coated dogs. Yeast infections are also common between the toes, and may cause a smelly “corn chip” smell to appear near your dog’s feet. Again, dogs will attempt to lick and chew to relieve the itch. Keeping the feet clean and dry can help relieve both allergies and infections and pet wipes or a baby wipe of all paws when your dog comes in from outdoors may also help. Keeping your dog from licking the space with either dog booties or an Elizabethan collar is also good as it will prevent secondary infection and staining of the paws and legs. If your dog is determined to keep licking and keeping the feet clean and dry do not help, then your vet can help by providing a medication to treat any infection or provide relief of allergies.

Q. My dog keep hacking like a cough or something in her throat, what can I do?
ANSWER : A. Hacking and coughing can be caused by a number of things ranging from foreign bodies such as twigs stuck in the mouth or throat, to infections or illnesses such as Bordetella or Kennel cough, common in dogs that frequent kennels, dog daycare or dog parks. In older dogs, heart and lung issues can also be indicated by a cough that does not go away.

If you think there may be a foreign object stuck in your dog’s throat, you can sweep a finger gently through the back of the mouth or throat if your dog will let you. If something feels stuck and is not easily moved by the finger, it is best to contact your vet to have the object safely removed. This usually requires sedation so that your dog does not become panicked or move, causing the object to become further stuck or cut the throat.

If your dog is showing other symptoms of illness in addition to the cough such as runny nose or eyes, fever, lethargy or changes in appetite, it may indicate a viral or bacterial illness such as kennel cough. These are usually treated with a cough medication in severe cases, plus rest and treatment of any additional symptoms until the condition improves. In bacterial causes, antibiotics may also be given to help your dog feel better.

If your dog has a constant cough that does not go away, or has had changes in ability to exercise, breathing, or appears to have swelling around the chest or abdomen, in may indicate a lung or heart issue. Your vet can thoroughly examine your dog for any signs of heart or lung problems and can then offer care as needed depending on the cause.