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Dog with hard lump on leg -- now lame on it [UPDATE-went to vet again]

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  • Dog with hard lump on leg -- now lame on it [UPDATE-went to vet again]

    My dog (St. Bernard/heeler cross, 90+ lbs, 1-1/2 years old) developed a lump on his hind leg, just below the hock on the outside. It is hard but not bony-hard. No soft spot. It has fur/hair on it but is prone to rubs so sometimes it looks a bit raw. I don't know if he is chewing it during the day -- I have not seen any blood nor have I seen him chew it when I'm with him.

    I took him to the vet a couple of months ago when I first saw it. She drew out fluid -- blood and serum. No infection or cancer cells under a microscope. She surmised that it was some sort of reaction to a splinter or some harmless cyst, both of which were likely to rupture or just dwindle over time. Well it hasn't.

    It is now about the size of an egg. Yesterday for the first time I noticed that he is favoring it. Of course I'm making a vet appointment, but looking here for opinions:

    - If it wasn't cancerous a few months ago, it shouldn't be now, right?

    - Could the lameness just be mechanical, i.e. a big lump that might be pulling on his joint or just be ouchy in general?

    - If it's not malignant, I still think I'd want to have it removed, at this point. Agree? I was all excited to think it would resolve itself but money aside, I can't have him in pain waiting for it. Any idea how common hard lumpy growths are? New to me...
    Last edited by JoZ; Jan. 12, 2012, 05:41 PM.
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.

  • #2
    One of my dogs was recently diagnosed Lick Granuloma on his back hocks. It's caused by obsessive licking (in the vet's opinion from separation anxiety). I rarely see the dog lick, but if he's doing it when I'm not at home, that would explain things. He said that you can cover it or use e-collars, but the dog will just go back to it when he can get to it again. He's tried steriods, too. Basically he said there's nothing he founbd that would work because the dog has the compulsive behavior. The vet said he could take my money and remove them, but they'd almost certainly come back, and there's very little extra skin down there to close up the surgery site.

    Basically he said Pat and I will have to live with it, because there wasn't anything he could in good conscience recommend without feeling like he was taking my money. He didn't even charge me for the office visit, because he said he didn't do anything. For what it's worth, Pat is also borderline hypo-thyroid and is on thyroid supplements.



    • #3
      My dog had a similar small bump on one hind leg - a little tough spot, slightly raised, in the center of a softer area. When it was first noticed about 2 years ago, it was the center of an allergic issue and she was licking the area raw. When the inflamation was resolved, the allergist took samples and said it looked like a harmless cyst (I'm paraphrasing) and to keep an eye on it. This past spring, he didn't like the looks of it - it had grown a bit, the area had gotten irritated again - and took more samples, etc. The upshot was it was a tumor, and both her vets felt it should be removed because a) it was causing irritation even if it was benign and b) by the time they'd removed a piece of something that small for further testing, they might as well take the whole thing off. It was removed, tested, was benign and they got the whole thing.

      Good luck with your dog. It might be something harmless, but if it is something potentially nasty, it's better to get it off now, while it's still small.


      • Original Poster

        I took my boy to the vet again. The vet is not convinced that the limping is due to the lump -- in fact she's quite sure it is NOT. She worries about his hips (he is just the right size and breed for dysplastic issues).

        I am going to have the lump removed anyway, and have his hips xrayed at the same time. Can't do that till after the 1st of February so in the meantime I'm getting glucosamine and giving him Rimadyl when he needs it.

        Wish it had been the lump, I think...
        Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


        • #5
          If there's fluid in it, it is most probably a cyst, even though it's alarming looking. Shadow has a cyst on his head that's been there for a couple of years. It expands and shrinks, and doesn't cause him any distress. It's not worth putting him under to remove it, and it's harmless.
          If it was a lot bigger, we'd consider having it removed.

          I hope all goes well!
          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry