When your dog doesn't seem interested in eating his food, do you know what to do? When your dog vomits often, could there be something serious wrong with him? If he struggles to get up the stairs, does he need to see a vet? Having never owned an older dog, I knew nothing about the things that can begin to go wrong when dogs age. I adopted this guy when my neighbor moved into a nursing home and had to learn a lot about how to care for an older dog. My blog is filled with the many things that I have learned over the last year through the help of my vet.
As an avid pet owner, your pet is like another child to you. Because of this connection and bond with your dog, you want to do everything that you can to keep them happy and healthy. However, sometimes there are health elements that you just cannot control. If, one day, you are petting your dog and you notice a lump or growth on their body, you may wonder what the growth means and how you can help your dog get to feeling better as soon as possible. Get to know some of the steps that you can take to help your dog get the care that they need and get healthy as soon as possible.
Understand The Possible Types of Growths
The first step when you notice a strange growth on your dog's body is to take it checked out by your veterinarian or at an animal hospital. But it is also important to know that there are many different types of growths that your dog can develop and what they are.
The most common are known as lipomas. A lipoma is a fatty tumor that is benign (non-cancerous). The older your dog gets, the more likely they are to develop some type of lipoma. Oftentimes, these remain small growths under the surface of the skin. However, some lipomas have been known to grow quite large and begin to interfere with muscle function and the like.
Other possible growths on your dog's body can be more problematic. Dogs can develop melanoma, a form of skin cancer, and those growths are often on the exterior surface of the skin and may appear black or red. And, of course, your dog may also develop benign, pus-filled cysts.
Know The Diagnostic And Treatment Procedures
When you take your dog in to the animal hospital, your veterinarian will first examine the growth and check the rest of your dog's body for any additional growths. Then, depending on whether or not the growth is on the surface of the skin or beneath it, they will either remove the growth or aspirate it.
To aspirate a growth means that the vet will use a needle to remove some of the fluid or cells inside of it so that the sample can be analyzed under a microscope. If the growth cannot be aspirated or is a suspected melanoma, the veterinarian will remove it completely to avoid spreading the malignancy.
Generally speaking, removal is the best treatment option for most growths. However, if the growth is a lipoma and it does not cause your dog discomfort or other health issues, it may not need to be removed unless it begins to grow. Additionally, if your dog has cancer, they may need chemotherapy or radiation therapy in addition to growth removal.
Now that you know what to expect when you find a growth on your dog's body, you can better handle the situation and get your dog the care they need as quickly as possible.
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