Westie, Fox Terrier & Schnauzer Skin Problems

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Dog lumps and bumps also known as fatty tumors or Lipomas.

You are giving your dog a bath and suddenly you feel a lump or a bump.

I think everyone has felt this.  Your older dog is getting lumps and bumps and even skin discolorations on his body.

In an older dog, most are benign tumors, called fatty tumors.

A very important person is your groomer.  They see all the skin problems and know a lot about dogs and canines.

Ask your groomer if it looks like it may be something besides a fatty tumors.

These are fatty deposits that collect under the skin. They are  usually soft, smooth and movable.

The first step after finding a lump on your dog would be having your vet examine it and determine  the best course of action.

The veterinarian will want to get a biopsy with a needle.  My Vet took two biopsies so he could charge me more.  He then examines the cells under a microscope.


The good news is that lipomas are usually  benign, they usually are soft and they seem to not cause any particular  pain or problems to the dog.

However, sometimes lipomas may grow  very large and depending on where they are located, they may cause  discomfort and therefore, need to be removed.

It is wise to have  the lump checked out in order to rule out any possible cancers such as basal cell tumors, sebaceous cysts or mast cell tumors.

Needle aspiration or removal of the lipoma are often fundamental in the process of ruling out cancer. If no cancer is detected most  vets would recommend watch the lump and keeping track of its growth.

My vets were concerned about putting a dog through surgery especially if senior. In  these cases owners look for alternative treatments.  

Here are some alternatives to surgery:

When my West Highland White Terrier developed a lump on  his right side right in the armpit,  I raced to the vet I was so scared.  Thankfully it turned out to be a fatty tumor.

My groomer told me that these are normal and only need surgery if it hinders the dog in anyway or is  painful. 

I found a sebaceous growth on his back near his neck.  It is white and almost pearly, in color.  It is hard to the touch.

The sebaceous glands are microscopic glands in the skin which secrete an oily/waxy sebum, to lubricate the skin and hair.

I took Spooky to the vet and he confirmed my suspicions that it is a benign growth.

Since that time the fatty tumor has gotten smaller.  I didn't think this could happen but it's not growing any bigger and this time it's good news. 

Elle, however is just starting to get a fatty tumor on her side.  I will watch it and make sure it doesn't grown quickly and then get it checked out if it hinders her movement or she is scratching it.

So I checked with my Vet and it was me worrying for nothing.  Although, if you're in doubt be safe and sure and get it checked out.

Dogs can also be susceptible to hives. 


Hives are an allergic reaction of dogs by the appearance of raised, circular, itchy bumps on the skin of the face and body. The hair sticks out in little patches. Sometimes the skin around the eyes will also swell up.   Hives generally appear within 30 minutes of exposure and disappear within 24 hours.

Insect bites are a common cause of hives. Hives can occur after a vaccination. Penicillin, tetracycline, and other antibiotics can produce hives.


When possible, find out what is causing the hives and prevent further outbreaks.

When hives appear shortly after a shampoo or application of a topical insecticide, bathe the dog and rinse thoroughly to remove the chemical from the dogs coat and skin.

An antihistamine such as Benadryl can reduce the swelling and itching.  Ask your vet before you medicate your dog. 




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