Guide to Canine Lumps on the Neck


"There are multiple possible causes for canine lumps on the neck that are listed below. If a diagnosis cannot be made by looking at the condition, your veterinarian will take a small cell sample using a simple procedure for further testing. Treatment often involves surgery, radiation and possibly chemotherapy."

Overview of Causes

Canine lumps on the neck can mean a variety of things.

Dog lymph nodes are on the right and left side of the neck where it is connected to the lower jaw. In a healthy dog, you shouldn't be able to feel the lymph nodes. In a sick dog, the nodes are enlarged such as when an infection is present or cancer. Swelling lower on the neck and in the middle over the windpipe could be a thyroid tumor (rare in dogs).

Other causes of lumps on the neck include:

  • Basal Cell Tumors - Cancerous slow growing lump.
  • Cuterebra - Caused by the 1-1 inch larva of the Cuterebra fly. Nodule forms around the larva; usually found on the head and neck. Your Veterinarian will open the lump and see the larva. Surgical removal will cure the condition.
  • Follicular cyst (sebaceous cyst alternative name - Single round nodules on or underneath the skin. The appearance may be blue in color and also may contain a thick, yellowish to gray material. Also found on the head. Your Veterinarian will take a sample for testing. Removal with surgery.
  • Nevi - Groups of firm lesions that are usually not cancerous (benign). Caused by some type of underlying disease. Lesions are removed via surgery and can recur.

Diagnosis of Dog Lumps on the Neck

A FNA test (fine needle aspiration) is used to extract cells from any lump for testing in a lab.

Treatment of Canine Lumps on the Neck

Treatment of canine lumps on the neck include radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.

Still Have Questions?

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