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My dog has a weird "growth" on her elbow

September 30th, 2005, 02:58 PM
For the past few years, my dog has had this growth on her front left elbow. It's greyish, like her skin (she's a black dog), and free of hair. It's kind of oval / elliptical and I'd say at least as wide across as a quarter (but skinnier since it's an oval not a circle.) It's shaped kind of like a bloated tick, to give you an idea, and is connected to her skin at one "end" of the oval. But of course it's not a tick, it's made out of skin. It LOOKS like it's filled with pus, but I don't know if it actually is. It seems to have thicker skin than she would have on normal parts of her body.

She's had two similar "bumps" in the past . . . one on her ear a few years ago and one on her head just recently. The one on her ear I kept an eye on for quite a while (it was there at least a few months) until one day when I was examining it, it broke and this thick, light greyish . . . stuff . . . came out. It didn't ooze, either, it was more like it popped out in the shape that it had been inside the bump. It was almost the same color as the bump itself. Now I wish I'd thought to put some of it in a little jar or baggie and take some to the vet! Anyway, after that her ear bump went away.

The other bump was on the crown of her head. It was a smallish bump (so was the ear one) and I kept having to feel all over her head to find it again, as it wasn't visible because of her fur. Anyway, a few nights ago it burst. But this one didn't have the whitish grey pus(?), it was filled with clear liquid.

So now she just has the big lump on her elbow. She never licks it or gnaws at it or pays it particular attention, but she doesn't like people touching it. But Ebony doesn't always give clear signals when she's in pain so I'm not sure if it hurts or if the reaction is more along the lines of "why do you keep prodding me, strange biped?"

I show the thing to the vets (there are several in Ebony's clinic) every time she goes in for her check up, and they usually examine it, squeeze it, and say not to worry about, but they don't seem to know what it is either. I keep staring at the thing wondering what on earth it is. Last time I was at the vet's I asked outright if it could be a tumor or cancer, but the vet said he didn't think so.

I'll try to get a picture of it today . . . I couldn't last night, she was curled up on that side and looked at me like I was crazy when I asked her to move. ;)

Edit: She's had the elbow bump for quite a long time . . . years. And it used to be much smaller, about the size of a pencil eraser, but gradually got bigger. It doesn't seem to have gotten any bigger for the past few years, though.


September 30th, 2005, 03:44 PM
If it were on a human, I'd say it sounded like a boil. Most likely they're just infected hair folicles or pustulated pimples. If you're very concerned, then I would take her to the vet.

September 30th, 2005, 04:21 PM
The one on her elbow could be a callus but just in case I would get it checked out.

June 14th, 2010, 12:14 AM
OMG LM1313 I know this thread is very old, but if you are still around I need your reply. I found the thread on a google search and my dog has this EXACT same growth, like description fits to a tee, I never thought I would find someone else....its only connected at one end and she has had it for a few years. it doesent seem to hurt her at all even when squeezed. twice recently it looked big and I pressed on it lightly and it "popped", the first time some gray "pasty" like stuff came out kinda looked like lint, and the second time it was just pus mixed with some blood.

could you tell me if you ever figured out what this was? my dog is 13 and the vet said it was just a callous, but then when the stuff came out of it I suspected she might have been wrong...I dont think a callous has stuff in it? I have an appt for her on tues but I was just really curious.


June 14th, 2010, 12:35 AM
cduval04 LM1313 hasn't posted since 2007.

Sounds like a skin tag aka fibropapillomas aka wart, usually they are extra fibrous skin tissue growth and not cancerous, though it would need to be tested for a conclusive diagnosis.

If it of concern to you or if your dog is chewing/scratching it you can ask the vet to do a fine needle aspirate to have the cells examined under the microscope, have a sample taken for a biopsy or depending on the location have it surgically removed.

I would not recommend squeezing/playing with it too much as it can become irritated & grow larger. My :rip: DalxLab had one years ago on his flank that I did have surgically removed as it was slowly growing larger, when they tested it after removal it was found to be just dense tissue cells. He did have another smaller one that disappeared on it's own.

June 14th, 2010, 01:13 AM

thanks for the reply I apreciate it. I took a pic of it. (above) After searching a little bit, I thought it might be a hygroma, b/c she sort of fits the profile, she is old, female, and even though she LOVES her bed she likes to lie on the bare floor quite a bit in the summer I think b/c it is cool, usually on her side. but then when I looked at pics, it didnt look like any of the ones I saw b/c they were all more "part" (attached to tissue completely) of the dog and had hair over them and stuff, this is more boilish, would you agree??


June 14th, 2010, 01:56 AM
From your pic I would say no it doesn't look like hygroma, it also doesn't look like a callous which is generally hard/rough skin on the outside. I think a boil is similar to an abcess - it is just filled with pus & is usually painful/irritating and as a result of a deeper infection under the skin.

Either way a FNA will give you more answers, good luck at the vets on Tues :fingerscr

June 14th, 2010, 03:39 PM
Just wanted to send along some :goodvibes: for the vet visit tomorrow, cduval!

June 14th, 2010, 03:53 PM
Just wanted to send along some :goodvibes: for the vet visit tomorrow, cduval!
thanks! I will let you know what happens. she is barking right now I have to go get her lol!