What is causing the small lumps on my dog’s neck?

    Q.I am a U.S. soldier serving in Germany. I have a three-month-old Shih Tzu named Juli. Last week she started getting a small lump on her neck. I took her to a vet and he gave her some antibiotics. Three days later, she started getting another on her back. I took her back to the vet and he did the same thing. The problem is, neither of the lumps is going away. They feel like they are filled with fluid and are just under the skin. Here is the strangest part: when Juli plays with my other Shih Tzu, the lumps seem to get harder and bigger. Do you have any idea what these could be?


    A.It would be good to have a veterinarian do a fine needle aspiration for cytology (no sedation required). I say this because I have recently seen several mast cell tumors in three-month-old dogs. One of the characteristics of these tumors is that they do fluctuate in size when manipulated. If this or something similar were the diagnosis, it would make a big difference in the proper approach to therapy. Remember that the nickname for the skin is the “third kidney”. It is a powerful eliminative organ. These may just be cysts that will either run their course or could be lanced by your veterinarian. Also, it is common for animals to have local reactions to vaccinations and the neck is a common site. Before giving Juli any more vaccines, please read the series of articles about over-vaccination in the Animal Wellness library.

    Category: Dog
    Tags: cyst, lumps, mast cell, Tumor, Vaccine