Ask a Vet: What Is the Lump on My Dog’s Belly?

Hello, Dr. Barchas, I noticed a small round lump on my dog's belly. It's very firm and faded white. It could have pus in it,...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Feb 7th 2012


Hello, Dr. Barchas,

I noticed a small round lump on my dog’s belly. It’s very firm and faded white. It could have pus in it, but it seems too firm to try to squeeze without hurting her.

I noticed it a week ago and it hasn’t increased in size. Is this something I should be worried about? Or is it something like a pimple?

Lizeth
Orlando,Fl

Don’t squeeze it. I do not recommend squeezing lumps on animals unless they have been decisively identified. Even then, squeezing lumps is generally a bad idea.

I read your query last night, and then this morning my pal Buster rolled onto his back for his daily a.m. belly rub. In the center of his abdomen he has a lump. The lump is firm and faded white. It is in on the midline between the two sides, and halfway between the point of his breastbone and the start of his pelvis.

The lump is not filled with pus, and every dog has one. The lump is Buster’s umbilicus, also known as his belly button.

Based upon your description of a small, firm, faded white, unchanging lump, I suspect you have just noticed your dog’s belly button for the first time. Canine and feline belly buttons are much more subtle than their human counterparts. However, all mammals have them.

Belly buttons are the remants of the umbilical cord’s entry point to the body. Shortly after birth, the cord falls off, and a small scar heals its attachment site. The scar tissue is what makes belly buttons (in dogs and cats) faded white and firm.

Because pets’ belly buttons are subtle, most people have never noticed them. But they are there.

With that said, I cannot state with certainty that the lump you have noticed is in fact a belly button. I wouldn’t be too worried about it, since it is small and stable, but you should have it checked out. I hope that your vet will confirm my suspcions.