Lump on one side of neck? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-10-2013, 07:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lump on one side of neck?

While giving my dog a neck massage I noticed that one side of his neck (closer to his jowls, really, just under his jawline) has a lump. It rotates and moves around VERY freely, though it is attached to "something" as it stays in that spot, and does not appear to cause him any pain whatsoever. I can place my fingers on the top and bottom of it, and move it around. If you stack two or three quarters together it is maybe about that size? It is sort of disc-shaped, and gets thicker toward the middle. It feels like it maybe has the consistency of cartilage, maybe a bit softer? It is hard to tell with it being under the skin. It definitely is not as hard as bone.

I can push on it pretty hard and he has absolutely no reaction to it.

I'm getting him in to the vet soon, but in the meantime I'm wondering what it might be. My first guess was a swollen lymph node - which makes me worry about lymphatic cancer, but none of his other lymph nodes (or where I would expect them to be) have any swelling whatsoever. No other bumps on his body - he had two sebaceous cysts on his back awhile ago that have burst, healed, and have since not returned.

He recently had an ear infection in the ear closest to that lump, could it be swollen from just getting over that infection? Or maybe the antibiotics didn't actually clear it up? (We had to go through two courses - the drops didn't work, had to use oral antibiotics).

Any thoughts? I don't like rushing off to the vet unless he's in visible pain or distress, I try to have a few days worth of observation first unless there's an obvious emergency. I plan to monitor it and probably get him in Monday afternoon. Or Saturday, if I get it off work this week.

Could it just be one of those benign fatty tumors? I've got one of those in my wrist, though it feels harder than what Samson has and doesn't move around as easily (though to be fair there is a lot more skin and muscle in his neck than in my wrist).

Last edited by Draugr; 01-10-2013 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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most likely a cyst, but having the vet evaluate is not a bad idea.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Due to recurring staph infections, I've had swollen lymph nodes and lumps in various spots on my head and neck and they usually *do* hurt when pressed or massaged. Not sure if the same is true for dogs? If you suspect it could be a fatty mass, the vet should be able to aspirate with a needle and have a look. I had this done for a senior foster and wasn't even charged for it (just part of his normal exam). I would definitely monitor it so you can tell if it's growing and how fast.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I went ahead and made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon.

Intellectually, I know it would probably be best to wait until sometime next week so I can report whether or not it has grown, shrunk, changed consistency, etc, but I also know I'll sit around and worry about it regardless until it is looked at.

It doesn't feel like the skin cysts he's had before. This is a weird round lump under the skin. The vet tech that answered the phone said it is in the right place to be a lymph node.

Samson is a real terror at the vet's so I'm not looking forward to this >.>. It's like a 35-40 minute drive...the only vet closer turned out to be extremely arrogant and impossible to work with, so working on socializing him there is very difficult .
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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About halfway down the page is a diagram of the major lymph nodes on a dog.
Von Wertz Rottweilers - Breeder of Working Champion Rottweilers

Is it the angle of the jaw one? Is there a matching one on the other side? If not, good idea to get him in, well, it is either way.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah it's one of the mandibular ones. I'm hoping it's just an infection. The ear infection that was so hard to get rid of was close to there, so I'm hoping it was just swollen from that. Or maybe from some other infection.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I didn't think of this, but I have suspected for a long time now that Samson is borderline hypothyroid based on his behavior. (Based on a paper I read, borderline cases most commonly present with behavioral, and not physiological abnormalities). The thyroid gland is extremely close to the swelling I'm feeling, could thyroid disease cause lymph node swelling?
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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He had a temperature of over 104, and has recently gotten over a VERY long and difficult-to-get-rid-of ear infection, so the vet is thinking that is why the one lymph node is so swollen. He said the other mandibular lymph node is swollen too, though not as badly (I couldn't feel it, but then again, I'm not a vet :P).

He's got some antibiotics to take for one week, hopefully that brings the swelling down and infection is all that was causing it.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hopefully it will be something minor. I found a lump under Zoeys skin a few months back and stressed about it until I got her into the vet. It turned out to be boil.
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