If you’ve found a lump on your dog’s neck, you’re likely concerned and justifiably so. Lumps can appear for a wide variety of reasons, not the least scary of which is cancer. However, the frequency with which lumps turn out to be cancer is statistically very low, much lower than you would expect. So, chances are that a lump on your dog’s neck is not cancer but there could be some reason for concern.
Unfortunately, there’s no possible way to diagnose a lump on your dog’s neck without visiting your veterinarian. Indeed, different kinds of lumps will be associated with different symptoms. Some lumps, when associated with infection, for example, will cause a substantial amount of pain for your dog and may continue to grow larger if left untreated. And while infection is probably the most common cause for a lump in your dog’s neck, it is not the only cause.
Lymphoma, a type of cancer, can also lead to lumps. Surprisingly, in the early stages there may be few other symptoms that your dog is suffering from a serious health problem. Some lymphomas will cause pain but many will not which is why it is important to visit a veterinarian. Lymphomas left untreated will certainly result in your dog’s death.
Sometimes lumps may even be a benign mass. These lumps may appear and disappear for no obvious reason and will probably cause little or no discomfort for your dog. Still, you cannot accurately diagnose a lump on your dog’s neck just by looking at it. You should take your dog to the vet to have the problem properly diagnosed and treated to ensure the long term health and happiness of your pet. If it turns out to be a harmless condition, you’ll still feel better knowing for sure.