Skin Masses, Wart, Cyst, Lump, Tumor

Skin masses can arise for a very large number of reasons including infections, tumors, parasites, injury, cysts (clogged or inflamed glands), warts and calluses. Masses can range in size from pinpoint to many inches in diameter. It can often be difficult to determine the underlying cause without skin or lab tests.

True tumors (cancer) can be benign, or aggressive and life threatening. Sometimes a "tumor" may really turn out to be a wart, a callus, a cyst or an inflamed area of skin.

All skin masses should be evaluated by a veterinarian. Increased risk of having a life threatening problem if you see the skin mass grow, change, become painful, ulcerated or infected.

Diagnosis is based on symptoms, examination findings and skin or lab tests that may include taking a sample of the mass for microscopic analysis.

Treatment can vary widely based on the type and size of the mass. Not all masses will require treatment. If the mass is suspicious, immediate removal and microscopic testing may be recommended. All questionable masses should be addressed as soon as possible. Sometimes, the early removal of a cancerous mass can prevent the spread of cancer to other places in the body.

Important Points

  • Use all medications as prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Monitor your pet's progress carefully and have him or her rechecked if there are any concerns.
  • Have your pet rechecked as recommended by your veterinarian.

If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your Banfield hospital today.