Q. Small lump on my dog's throat, what should I do?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Lumps and bumps on the throat or neck can be caused by a wide range of things. Depending on the lumps size, if it is under the skin or appears on the skin itself, and its location on the throat can all indicate different things.
There are a large number of structures in the neck there ranging from thyroid glands, nerves, salivary glands and even lymph nodes. Illness, disease or irritation can all cause swelling or issues there. You may also see additional symptoms such as trouble swallowing, drooling, lethargy or changes in weight and appetite to help narrow down the cause of the lump. Testing via blood work or an X-ray may help to determine the cause and proper treatment.
Lumps and bumps on the skin can also be caused by allergies such as an allergic reaction or sting, or even an abscess under the skin. Allergies are usually treated with an allergy medication to help stop the response and any itching or redness. Abscesses (cuts or scrapes that get infected and swell with fluid) are usually hot or painful to the touch and may ooze debris. These are usually drained at a vet, and then treated with antibiotics.
If the cause of the lump is not known, your vet may also recommend taking a sample of the lump to send to a Lab. This can help to determine what exactly is causing the lump and how to treat it.