Lumps, Bumps and Lesions?

If anyone has had a Kerry Blue Terrier for any length of time you have probably encountered a lump on your dog. Kerry Blue Terriers, although mostly a
healthy breed, are prone to sebaceous cysts and other lumps. However, how do you know how to distinguish between the lumps to worry about and the ones
to just leave alone?

Skin disorders can be attributed to older age, although younger dogs are also afflicted with lumps and lesions. Generally, congenital and hereditary issues
occur in young animals, whereas metabolic (hormonal or chemical) and neoplastic (abnormal growth of cells; benign or malignant) diseases occur in older
animals. The main lumps that you will encounter with your Kerry are spicules, hair follicle tumours, dermoid cyst, warts, lipomas and sebaceous cysts.
Also found in the Kerry are hemangiosarcoma, histiocytoma and melanoma.

As a rule, benign tumours are slow growing, with very little change over time. They have a clear margin and are typically movable. Sebaceous cysts, for
example are not usually attached, grow and then drain a thick cream-like secretion. Malignant tumours tend to grow rapidly, become ulcerated and spread
to surrounding areas. They are also typically fixed and less moveable.

In general, because the Kerry Blue Terrier tends to develop skin lumps, the owner, as a part of regular preventative care, should examine their dog monthly
and note any new or changing lumps or lesions. In this way you can monitor changes in growth, movement, and if any lumps are draining or ulcerating.
That being said, if concerned about any lump or lesion you should always get a veterinary opinion. The following is a table of lumps and tumours found
in dogs.






Infected wound or biteAnywhere on bodyFirm or fluid filled noduleVary in shape and sizeMay have signs of infection (fever, lethargy, decrease appetite)May need surgical intervention to drain and clean woundMay need antibiotics

Acral lick dermatitis

Self licking resulting in skin traumaCaused by anxiety, boredom, stressSelf licking resulting in skin traumaCaused by anxiety, boredom, stressRed, hairless area; can become infected and drainTreat cause through behaviour modification or medication

Allergic & irritant contact dermatitis

(similar to Acral lick dermatitis)

Allergic reaction or inflammation caused by irritating substancesRed skin & possibly small lumps or blisters; itchyMay need steroids or antihistamines

Basal cell tumour

Cancerous, slow growing, rarely metastasizesSmall fluid filled nodules, may ulcerateSurgical removal is necessary

Calcinosis cutis

Mineralization of the skin due to corticosteroids (prednisone)Hard nodules that ulcerate and drain, develop crustsMy be a sign of Cushing?s DiseaseMay need surgical removalMay need steroid reduction


Chronic pressure pointThick, hairless areas over pressure pointsProvide softer bedding

Follicular or
Sebaceous cyst

Most common cystBenignRound nodules on the skin; may contain thick secretion that is yellow to greySurgical removal is optional


Malignant and invasive tumourBlue to reddish blackSurgical removal, with removal of borders may require amputation of limb


Benign tumour typical in younger dogsSolitary raised, red lump; strawberry like, common on legs, head and earsGenerally resolve on their own; elective surgical removal


Benign fatty tumourSingle, soft lump; can become large and hinder movementSurgical removal if they become large or interfere with movement

Mammary gland tumour

Most common in unsprayed femalesMay be malignantNodules under the skin; irregular shape and size, may ulcerate and drainBiopsy and surgical removal


(similar to Hemangiosarcoma)

MalignantSingle, dark growthSurgical removal with large area around tumour


Benign; seen mostly in intact male KBTMultiple hard brittle, hair like; mostly over hock regionNo treatment unless very itchy

Warts (papilloma)

Benign growth caused by virusLight color with cauliflower appearance; lips, tongue, eyelid or mouth usuallyMay biopsy, tend to resolve on own



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