Lumps and Bumps on Your Dog

3 min read
Jan 18, 2022

When petting your dog, you may notice some type of lump or bump you had not noticed before. Do not worry immediately. There are several options as to what type of lump or bump it is. To help determine the type, a veterinarian may be needed.


The majority of lumps found on dogs are lipomas. Lipomas are soft, round tissue which are not painful to your dog. These are generally present directly beneath the skin and are mostly non-cancerous. They do not often cause any problems and do not require surgery unless they restrict your dog’s normal movements.

There are many dog breeds prone to developing these fatty tumors:

Recurrence of Lipomas
Dogs that have had a lipoma in the past are prone to forming more as time goes on. It is also common for multiple lipomas to occur at the same time. It is imperative each lump be checked by your veterinarian, and that your pet have existing lipomas rechecked annually to ensure cellular changes haven’t occurred or has grown in size and is impeding your pet’s movement or function.

Sebaceous Cysts

Bumps may also come in the form of sebaceous cysts. Sebaceous cysts are plugged oil glands in the skin and are also often not a cause for concern. There are also skin cysts which are composed of dead cells or clear fluid; these rupture and heal on their own the majority of the time. The Cocker Spaniel is particularly prone to developing sebaceous cysts.

Causes of Sebaceous Cysts in Dogs 
You should always take your dog to the vet to verify a secondary infection hasn’t occurred, or to make sure the cyst is not malignant. There could be several reasons why your pet may develop a sebaceous cyst:

  • Injury or trauma
  • Insect bite
  • Allergic reaction
  • Inactive folical
  • Swollen hair folical
  • Blocked follicle
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Lack of sebum secretion
  • Genetic predisposition

Cancerous Growths

Cancerous growths on dogs spread rapidly and spread to other parts of the body. Non-cancerous growths generally stay in the same place and do not spread, although you may notice more than one fatty lipoma on your dog in some cases.

How do you know which lumps, bumps or cysts are dangerous and which are not? The only true way to know is by performing a biopsy. Any time you notice a lump, just to be safe, you should consult your veterinarian. As we always say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Consider Investing in Dog Insurance  

Looking for more ways to keep your pup happy and healthy? Consider investing in a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.Get your free quote today. 

Protect your Dog

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.