Lump/growth on dog's side

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Fresh as a- Daisy!
Barked: Thu Nov 20, '08 6:57am PST 
Good morning, all. First, let me preface this post by saying that I've already made an appointment with the vet.

We have a 10 year old mixed breed (retriever-ish) who weighs 75 pounds. Her name is Sandy & she's sweet as pie.

I noticed some kind of lump or growth on her left side this week. It's on her ribs, right behind her front leg. She doesn't like for me to touch it. It's about the size of a half lemon. It seems to be flat where it's against her ribs, and rounded on the other side. It feels a lot like those fake boobs they use at breast cancer demos...so I guess that would be best described as gel-like? It's not a hard lump & it's fairly mobile under her skin.

Does anyone have any idea what this might be? Again, I made an appointment for the vet to see her first thing Wednesday.


Princess and the- Pea
Barked: Thu Nov 20, '08 9:05am PST 
It sounds like it might be a lipoma. That is a fatty tumor common in older dogs. The vet can do a quick check with a needle. I had an enormous one removed but it is usually not an emergency situation.

Hope it isn't anything serious!
Tessa- Sue~*In- loving- memory*~

Gone. But the- ledgend lives on
Barked: Thu Nov 20, '08 9:17am PST 
Since it is so soft and painful it may be a hematoma. They pop up after trauma, lots of times the owners don't even recall the trama. What happens is blood vassels burst and make a pocket of blood, they subside on their own sometimes but the vet can also drain it very easy. Tessa got one on her ear and the vet inserted a tube to drain it.


Fresh as a- Daisy!
Barked: Thu Nov 20, '08 9:56am PST 
thanks for your time in answering my question. i googled both lipomas and hematomas. i was able to find much more info on lipomas and sources indicate that they're not uncommon in older dogs. there's always the possibility that it could be a hematoma; sandy & daisy often enjoy brief living room wrestling matches. big grin

again, i appreciate your feedback. neither possibility seems too terrible and i feel much better now. a week is a long time when you're not sure what's wrong with a loved one.
Nellie Bean

Dancing Queen
Barked: Thu Nov 20, '08 10:04am PST 
My money would be on it being a lipoma - a benign fatty lump. Retrievers are prone to them and behind the foreleg is a classic place to get them and your description is text book for a lipoma. A vet will usually opt to leave them alone and monitor. They may stay small but occasionally grow bigger. One of my dogs had one on her chest removed this year because it was very large and uncomfortable for her. They are often encapsulated and can be removed whole.
I hope your vet confirms this for you - they're nothing to worry about.

Whose bed?? Why- would YOU think- that?
Barked: Thu Nov 20, '08 10:16am PST 
I vote for lipoma, too. Your dog is the right age with the right location. Lily came with one on her ribcage - she was only two. In young dogs, they can be caused by 1) poor nutrition - she was starving stray or 2) a trauma - her chiropractor feels she has been hit by a car at some point in her former life, so take your pick. I had it biopsied. The vet says he will remove it if she ever needs anesthesia for anything else, but it's not worth putting her under just for it. It was 4 1/4" by 4 1/4". It has shrunk to about 2 1/4 inches square. Because Lily is lean and smooth coated, it is very obvious but I try to ignore it.