Lumps, Bumps and Cysts in Dogs
A few days before Edie’s annual check up I noticed a cyst-like bump on her face.
There it was, hidden under her face fold, just above her nose.
As much as I keep an eye on her face folds and wipe them on a daily basis, they occasionally get sore and I need to treat with cream, but this time it was different. It was not the usual sore skin, but a red bump. She did not seem bothered by it, it did not seem to hurt her when I touched it, but it was something I had not seen before.
Since I already had an appointment booked with the vet in a couple of days, I decided to keep an eye on this cyst like bump, and if there were any changes I would have it looked at sooner.
Fast forward to check-up day.
I’m in the exam room with Edie and her vet, we’re talking about how well Edie is doing, and I proceed to pull up Edie’s face fold to show the vet, saying “I noticed this”.
I won’t lie, the response I got unnerved me a bit, “Oh”. Not just the “oh, that’s nothing”, but the “Oh” that makes a pet owners heart drop.
As much as I wanted Edie’s vet to assure me it was nothing to worry about, she couldn’t do that.
I was sent home with cream to apply daily, instructions to keep an eye on this bump and watch to make sure it didn’t increase in size, and if it did, I was to return with Edie on an empty stomach in case the bump/cyst needed to be surgically removed.
Edie was not bothered by it by any means, but due to the location of this “cyst” and not having much excess skin available in that area, if it got too big it would make it more challenging to remove and stitch up.
The cream did not work. This cyst-like growth got bigger.
One week after the original appointment we were back at the vet’s office. Edie on an empty stomach, prepared if need be. The vet took one look at Edie’s face and confirmed this “cyst” had definitely grown. It was decided then that Edie was having surgery that morning to remove and then biopsy this growth.
After a few hours I received a call from Edie’s vet. All had gone well, Edie was resting and could come home.
I carried Edie in my arms out to the car, poor thing was quite out of it. She stayed by my side the rest of the day as I watched over her like a mother hen and slept by the side of my bed that night. The concern was that she not try to rub or scratch her face disrupting the stitches and/or the incision.
The next day I had “my Edie” back! She acted as if nothing had ever happened.
Our vet spent extra time and care trying to make it look as if Edie had not had any changes to her face. All I can say is she succeeded! Unless you looked closely, you couldn’t tell Edie had skin removed from her face fold.
As Edie healed, the next hurdle was waiting for the biopsy report.
Three days after the surgery the call came. The conversation started off asking how Edie was doing, how did her incision look, was there any bleeding, had she been rubbing or pawing at her face. As much as I knew the vet wanted to make sure everything was going well and Edie was healing, I knew the real reason for the call -the biopsy results. When I couldn’t avoid THE question any longer, I took a breath and asked if the results were in. Good news! The “cyst” was benign (I can’t lie I had teary eyes.) What Edie had was called a histiocytoma, a benign skin mass that is common in dogs.
I debated back and forth about sharing the information of finding this cyst on Edie and what we went through during and after her surgery. The only reason I can come up with is that I didn’t want to admit to myself that it could be something other than a benign cyst, and the thought of that was too difficult for me to handle.
For someone who always has the camera in Edie’s face I have not one photo of this “cyst”, that’s how much I wouldn’t/couldn’t admit something might be wrong. I hope as a fellow pet parent and pet lover you can understand my worry.
This morning Edie had her follow-up appointment, she was given the all clear and is healing wonderfully,
Please, from one pet parent to another, if you find any lumps, bumps or cysts on your dog or pet, have them looked at sooner than later so it can be monitored by your vet and dealt with early on. Avoiding it, pretending this growth does not exist, or that it will just “go away” on its own will not work.