Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Lump, Bump, Growth or Tumor on Skin, Anywhere on Body

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If the swelling is large, painful or growing rapidly.

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If a skin lesion is small, not itchy and changing slowly or not at all.

Skin lumps and bumps are common and can be tumors, cysts, abscesses, granulomas, foreign bodies, bruises, hematomas, seromas and a variety of other conditions or processes.

WHAT TO DO

When evaluating lumps and bumps, note their location, size, whether they are single or multiple, and when you first noticed them. Press on them gently to get a sense of their firmness and whether they are painful to pressure. Keep track of the appearance and size of a lump or bump by taking a photo, with a ruler in the photo for perspective.

You can give a small bump a little time to see if it resolves on its own, but you should call your vet with any questions or concerns, especially if it is rapidly growing in size, appears “angry” (inflamed, red, painful), or if it has ruptured and is oozing blood or other liquid or material.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Vets use history, and physical examination to start. Certain lumps and bumps with certain characteristics and in certain locations are considered “classic” for certain conditions. Examples are a lump on the soft outside of the skin above the nostril is classic for False Nostril Cyst. A fluid-filled swelling on the top and outside of the hock is classic for fluid in the top joint of the hock (called a bog). In addition, we may choose to aspirate or biopsy a mass, radiography or ultrasound.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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