What should you do if you suddenly feel a lump on your dog's neck? You may wonder when they got there and whether it means something is wrong. Take a deep breath and by all means, continue scratching your dog's favorite spot, just don't ignore that sudden bump, lump, or mass that's appeared on your pet's neck.
Why You Shouldn't Immediately Panic
While detecting a mass anywhere on your dog's body is alarming, finding one on the neck doesn't automatically indicate that something is terribly wrong. With so many cells and systems at work in any body, a number of benign issues could be culpable, including:
Depending on your dog's age and weight, it may even be common for an odd lump to develop. The important thing is that you found it and that you're going to do something about it.
When There May Be Cause for Concern
If the lump on your dog's neck is the only symptom you've noticed, you still need to pay a visit to your local animal hospital. However, when other symptoms are present, it's vital that you take note of all of them:
Write everything you notice down, including if any particular symptoms occurs under exclusive circumstances, such as your dog is over-tired after a walk or only eating in the morning. All these clues will help your veterinarian narrow down the possibilities and determine the most appropriate course of action. Sometimes, a lump in the neck means swollen lymph nodes or other potentially worrisome situations, but there are so many possibilities, it's better to stay calm and focus on your next move.
What to Do Either Way
Whether or not a lump in the neck is accompanied by other symptoms, your dog should be examined. Bring your dog, along with any observations you've made, to a vet. They'll inspect and test your dog through blood work or a biopsy. There could be anything from an infection to a reaction to a tick bite to lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) present or it could be nothing.
Based on how the lump in the neck feels to the touch, moves in the surrounding tissue and other symptoms, your vet may have a good idea what's going on right away. The process, though, could require an investigation that takes more time, leaving you to wait and worry. Stay strong, follow any instructions the vet provides and keep your keen powers of observation honed in on your dog. Even if something not so benign is discovered, you and your dog will likely still have plenty of options available to you.
Discovering a lump or sudden mass on your dog's neck is unnerving; however, there's no sense in worrying yourself sick. Contact an animal hospital at your earliest convenience to ascertain what the lump means and what should be done about it.