When you have a family that includes a four-legged friend of the dog variety, you may feel like they are another one of your precious children. And because of that, it can be quite disconcerting when you suddenly notice a bump or lump on their body. Finding growths on your dog is no treat but it is important to know not to panic. There are several different types of growths that can affect your dog and not all of them are scary or dangerous. Get to know more about some of these growth types so you can be sure that you get your dog the care and treatment that they need going forward. 

Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are among the most common types of growth that can affect your dog. A cyst is a fluid-filled sac or growth that develops in the body. Most noticeable cysts on your dog are surface-level and known as sebaceous cysts, meaning they develop in the sebaceous glands that are responsible for lubricating the skin and hair. These can look a lot like warts or pimples when they develop and begin to protrude from the skin.  

The good news about cysts is that they are usually benign, meaning they are not cancerous. Much like a pimple, though, cysts can pop. If this happens, you will need to make sure that your dog gets cleaned up quickly. That liquid inside of the cyst can cause skin infections or irritation if it is left on their skin. 


Lipomas are another common type of growth that can affect your dog. They are fatty tumors that develop subcutaneously (under the surface of the skin). A lipoma is often differentiated from other types of growths by how soft and almost squishy they are. They can be palpated (pressed on) and will give way under pressure, meaning they will move slightly. 

Most lipomas are non-cancerous. However, they can grow to large sizes over time. The continued growth of lipomas can begin to affect your dog's comfort and their freedom of movement. If this occurs, your veterinarian may be able to either drain the tumor of some of its mass (like liposuction) or offer veterinary surgical services to fully remove the tumor. The type of procedure used will depend on where the lipoma is located because if it is near major arteries or organs, it may be more difficult and dangerous to remove entirely. 

These are the two most common types of growths that you might notice on your dog. However, there are also malignancies and both cysts and lipomas can be cancerous some of the time. Because of this it is important to consult with your veterinarian any time you notice a growth on your dog, just to be on the safe side and to get set up with veterinary surgical services when needed.