Skin lumps, bumps and warts


Skin lumps, bumps and warts

Lumps may appear on your pet's skin and can be cause for concern. We always advise we check lumps and bumps as often they can be very straighforward to diagnose and as such we may be able to reassure you that there is nothing to worry about.

Probably the most common skin bumps we see are warts. skin tags and fatty lumps.


Warts can occur anywhere on a pet though are more common in dogs and are often around the face and neck in more elderly animals. They can occur in large numbers especially around the mouth in very young animals due to a virus and as such will usually improve as the pet reaches adulthood. If a single wart is seen in a young pet we may advise removal to send to the lab to make sure it is nothing more sinister. If a wart oozes or weeps it may require treatment or removal but often they can be left alone.  

Skin Tags

Skin tags are mostly seen in elderly dogs and occasionallyin cats.  They have the appearance of a small flat 'flap' or 'tag' that only really cause concern if they become traumatised or bleed. The only effective treatment is removal.

Fatty Lumps

Fatty lumps are very common and their frequency increases with your pet's age. They are more common in dogs and although frequently seen in overweight animals they can occur in slim pets too. We will often refer to these fatty lumps as lipomas.

Lipomas are a benign group of fat cells that increase rapdily to form into a discrete soft squashy flat ball or low dome shape. They are usually non-painful and are most commonly seen in the arm pit area or on the sides of the chest or abdomen.

Lipomas are problematic sometimes due to where they are located and their size. Lipomas in the arm pit area can cause problems with movement of the front leg and can become painful from constant trauma of being hit by the leg when moving.  They can also becomie tender due when they form under a tight muscle layer. We will often advise removal of fatty lumps to avoid on-going problems or pain. Often we can diagnose a lump as a lipoma with a simple fine needle aspirate often achievable in a consultation appointment.

As is the case with a lot of lumps and bumps it may not be immediately obvious what is causing a specific swelling. If this is the case then we would usually advise removal or biopsy and any tissue removed would be sent to the laboratory for absolute diagnsosis.