Mass on neck

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Mass on neck

Postby bullfrog » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:01 pm

First of all, I want to say thanks for the vets that typically chime in. I own a small construction business and know what it is like to be at a party or liquor store or grocery store or liquor store or church or liquor store or bank or liquor store and have someone come up to you and want to get free advice on what they should do based on your professional experience and never see a penny for it. Anyway...I've received good advice here before and I appreciate it.
So my 16 month old PP has a lump on the back of his neck. I took him to the vet for a regular checkup and had them check it out. I noticed that while it was big enough to easily see without feeling a few days earlier that it had receded some. However, it was still very palpable. My normal vet was on vacation and saw a newer colleague. She was convinced it was harmless and was probably some sort of sting/bite/injury because it had decreased in size. I took that as good news and wasn't overly concerned as he is a young dog and certainly likes to get into all sorts of trouble.
However, I didn't buy her conclusion. It doesn't feel anything like a bite or sting and is not overly sensitive to the dog. Also...there is a spot on his lower lip that I had drained last year when it swelled up. We figured it infection caused by a run in with a porcupine a month or two earlier. We kept an eye on that spot and it eventually went down to almost nothing. Then, when I noticed the lump on the neck, I also noticed the lump on his lip came back. By the time I went to the vet it had gone down mostly.
Now...A couple weeks later the lump on his neck has gotten bigger again as well as the lump on his lip.
Has anyone ever come across symptoms like this in such a young dog? He isn't bothered by either at all. But it's got me concerned. This dog is so much fun and I feel has a ton of potential. I certainly hope it's not cancerous or a similar outlook.
Any help is appreciated, but I do plan to take him back to the vet soon.
Thanks.
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Re: Mass on neck

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:51 am

The best way to find out if it's anything to worry about is to do a needle biopsy, or in vet terms a fine needle aspirate. It's simple, but not specific, and can only definitively diagnose about 5 of 50 possible reasons for a mass. It will potentially give you an idea if it's a cyst, a tumor to be monitored, or something scary that needs taken off right away. Sometimes you won't get any cells at all, and for those I recommend surgical removal of the mass just out of an abundance of caution.

With how much the mass has been changing, it's not unreasonable to just remove it and be done with it. There is plenty of skin on the back of the neck and it's a location that should heal quickly.

In a young dog the mass on the lip is likely a histiocytoma- a benign mass most common on the head and face. They typically resolve on their own in a couple months. Second most likely is a wart, just like people get. Any sort of foreign material causing infection is possible for both masses, these are all much more likely than cancers or cysts in young dogs. And all of this is based on what is common, and without seeing it in person I can't say for sure.
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Re: Mass on neck

Postby bullfrog » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:43 am

Thanks for the input! Definitely not looking for a diagnosis, but knowing it may be something common makes me feel better. Also I should have stated that it's definitely subcutaneous. I can roll the skin around it. Kinda feels like a golf ball attached to his neck but a little softer.
I'm not overly worried. I'm sure we'll get it figured out. Sure wouldn't want to start over now that we are past the work of the first hunting season and all the puppiness.
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Re: Mass on neck

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:10 am

The chances it's something dire at that age is very slim. A golf ball size lump is sizeable though, and a second look is a good idea.
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