Southern Cross Vets in Port Elizabeth

If your pet has an unusual lump or swelling that lasts for more than a few days please make an appointment so that our vets can check it out. Most lumps can be cured if they are caught early enough. Swellings can be: bruising or fluid build up, abscesses, cancers. If your pet has a had a lump for a long time with no problems, it is unlikely to turn nasty, but it is important to monitor all lumps. At Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic our vets will record the size of your pet's lump every year at vaccination. If the lump changes, i.e. starts to grow more quickly or becomes painful, you should make an appointment with one of our vets.


FATTY LUMPS (LIPOMAS) are more common in obese animals, rarely spread and are often quite slow growing. We sometimes need to remove these lumps as they can become very large with time.

SEBACEOUS GLAND CYSTS are swellings filled with a creamy substance, often in the middle of the back. Normally they do not cause any problems, but sometimes they can become red and painful.

MAST CELL TUMOURS can take on many different appearances. All mast cell tumours should be removed as they can be very nasty cancers.

HISTIOCYTOMAS (BUTTON TUMOURS) are found on the skin of young animals. They usually appear very quickly and may look quite red.

WARTS are more common in older animals and look like small tags of skin. At Southern Cross we will remove warts if they bleed or irritate your pet.

MAMMARY TUMOURS (BREAST CANCER) can be relatively harmless, but others can be aggressive and spread to other parts of the body, e.g. the lungs. Surgical removal of all mammary tumours is advisable and our vets will probably advise that your bitch is spayed.

LYMPHOMA is a cancer of the lymphocytes in dogs and can occur in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver and other organs. (In cats, there is a strong link between some types of lymphoma and infection with the feline leukaemia virus.) The signs of lymphoma depend on where the tumour is. Tumours in the lymph nodes will cause them to be swollen. Tumours in the intestines can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite and weight loss. Tumours in the chest can cause shortness of breath. The treatment for lymphoma in dogs is chemotherapy. This can be very successful, adding months and occasionally years to a dog's life.

SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMAS are unfortunately very common in cats and dogs in South Africa due to sun exposure. Cats can have lesions on their noses and ear tips. Dogs often have lesions on the unpigmented skin of their bellies. Try to keep susceptible cats and dogs out of the sun at the hottest part of the day and use sunscreens. Make an appointment to see one of our vets if you are worried about your cat or dog.
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Lump on a dog's side