Q. My Cocker Spaniel keeps getting lumps on her body. She has some on the top of her head that feel soft with about six or so clumped together.
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Lumps and bumps are very common in dogs. They can be caused by any number of things ranging from allergic reactions, to pockets of infection under the skin, to various tumors and cysts. If the bumps are spreading rapidly, or are very bothersome to your dog it is best to have a vet look at it to make sure it is not serious.
Allergic reaction bumps will often appear as small, red, itchy pockets of bumps anywhere on the body. These are usually treated with an allergy medication or over the counter antihistamine. Abscesses are pockets of infection under the skin that usually are one large bump, however in spreading infections may have other bumps appear. These are often painful or hot to the touch, and may ooze debris that is yellow or greenish in color. Abscesses are usually drained and then an antibiotic given to clear up the infection. Some tumors can also appear as small bumps that begin to spread and their type can be determined through biopsy of the site if other more common causes are ruled out.
Until you can have your vet look at the lumps, it is best to stop your dog from licking or chewing at them. Licking and chewing can cause cuts and scrapes to open, allowing bacteria and infection to spread over the affected area. An Elizabethan collar, or a T-shirt over the affected area can help prevent licking and chewing.