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What’s That Lump!?

By July 11, 2019 Small Animal

Is there a lump or growth on your pet?  Do you ever wonder what it may be and if it is something to be concerned about?

Growths on our pets come in many shapes and sizes.  Unfortunately, just looking at them with the naked eye doesn’t tell us very much. 

The least invasive way to help us identify these lumps is to collect a fine needle aspirate (FNA). To do this we place a small needle into the lump and draw some cells into the needle.  We then gently place the sample onto a microscope slide.  The next step is to stain the slide(s) using a 3 step stain to allow us to see the different cellular structures.  Once the slide(s) are dry we examine the sample under the microscope. On the sample we look for signs of inflammation, infection or abnormal cell growth.   

This procedure is easily done in our practice and is very well tolerated by our patients. Using treats as a distraction, they don’t even flinch! If possible we like to collect at least 3 samples per lump. 

FNAs are a great tool to know what actions need to be taken next. These can include the following:

  1. Obtaining a biopsy to send for further testing or grading
  2. Surgical removal of the lump
  3. Monitoring the lump for growth and how it effects the patient
  4. Treat for infection/inflammation

 Lumps can be a “growing” concern and are not recommended to be ignored. 

“Why wait? Aspirate!”


If you have found a lump on your pet, don’t hesitate to talk to one of our team members at Coventry Animal Hospital.

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