I found a small lump on my dog

dog nose

Q I have a three-year-old Border Collie. He has never suffered any illnesses previously. However, I have recently discovered a small lump on his back. It is about 1cm long and 1/2cm wide. I found it a month or so ago and it hasn't got any bigger, but it hasn't got any smaller either. I thought perhaps he had been stung or bitten, but I think it would have gone down by now. It is quite firm, but does not appear to be bothering him. We can touch it and feel it and he doesn't seem to be in pain.

A Joe Inglis writes: Without actually seeing this lump it's hard for me to be 100% sure, but from what you have described I suspect that this could well be nothing more serious than a sebaceous cyst. These lumps are generally quite firm and positioned in the skin itself rather than beneath it, and inside they are full of a thick creamy material which is excreted by the sebaceous gland. They are not in any way dangerous and often resolve themselves by spontaneously bursting and disappearing – so I wouldn't be too surprised if you found that this lump suddenly vanished one day.

However there are other possibilities, some of which would be a little more concerning, such as skin growths including mast cell tumours and histiocytomas, so I do think it is well worth getting your vet to check this out by your vet to make sure. If your vet is concerned that this might not be a cyst, then they may elect to remove the lump and have it analysed as a precaution.

About Joe Inglis: Having qualified as a vet in 1996, Joe's appeared on a variety of TV programmes including Vet School, Vets in Practice and Blue Peter, where he was the on-screen vet. Currently a vet for BBC's The One Show, and for The Wright Stuff on Five, Joe is MORE TH>N's official pet expert.