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Ask the Veterinarian/Cyst/Tumor on My Dog's Face


Lilia\'s Face
Lilia's Face  
My dog Lilia is 11 years old. She had a large black mole on her face until about 4 months ago. Now it has turned into a huge growth. I took the attached photo to my vet in order to get some medicine to sedate her so I could get her into his office. Lilia has always been very dominant,and is aggressive when she is anxious or afraid. She bites very hard and sometimes draws blood. She no longer let me bathe her nor trim her fur or nails. It is impossible to put on a leash or muzzle. The vet gave me 2 Ace or Tace tablets for anxiety, but they did nothing to sedate or calm her. The next day, they gave me 4 tablets with directions to give 2 tablets then the others one at a time an hour apart. Again, no response to it at all. I know my cats have been given the same medication prior to appointments and they become practically immobile, unable to stand or walk. The cyst is even bigger now, and I am frustrated the vet won't prescribe something else for her. She is elderly, a Schnauzer/Terrier mix. I give her baby aspirin and benadryl (she has allergies also). She does not show signs of pain, but that means little with dogs. I am very worried. No vets in my area make house calls to treat animals, where years ago they did. What can I ask for to help her get into the vet? If it is cancer, it may already be too late. I can't risk the vet being bitten, and I am disabled so need help lifting her 30 pound body. I need advice. Thank you.

Hi there,
That certainly is a big lump now. Have you taken her to the vet previously? Many vets are experienced with handling scared dogs who bite. Are you able to get a lead on Lilia? Will she jump into the car for you?
I love that you are worried about the vet being bitten, but perhaps if you got her in there, the nurses and vets would be able to handle her better than you think.

We are very limited with what medications we can administer in tablet form, there is pretty much the acepromazine you have already tried and diazepam (but this often makes scared dogs more aggressive!). There are injections we can give, but only in the clinic. If I have a scared, aggressive dog usually I would get a muzzle on and give an injection then wait. I think it would be impossible at your home as there would be less people to help the vet than at the clinic.

Is the lump rubbing on her eye at all? Even though it looks very red and angry, it most likely isn't painful unless it is rubbing on her eye. What would you do if it was a tumor? Would you want it surgically removed? It may be benign, there is no way to tell just by looking at a lump whether it is malignant or not. If it isn't bothering her and you think you wouldn't do surgery to remove it, perhaps don't worry too much about it. A skin lump isn't painful per se, it just looks bad.

Sorry I can't be of more help, you obviously love your dog very much and this is a difficult situation. Do you have a good relationship with your vet, so that you can show him/her this picture and ask for more options from them?


Dr. Eloise Bright

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Eloise Bright


I am a vet with a special interest in dermatology, particularly allergic dogs and cats, behaviour and acupuncture. I work mainly with dogs and cats. If you are wondering why your pet is still itchy, despite good flea control, or why your dog licks his feet, I may be able to give you some solutions. I'm currently very passionate about behaviour and am doing some further education in this area. So if you have a troubling behaviour with your dog or cat, such as barking, leash reactivity, anxiety or a dog who is a little wild and difficult to control, I may be able to help you with some solutions.


I work in an area of Sydney where we see lots of allergic pets. I think behaviour problems are very common and I help a number of owners find solutions that will restore peace to them and their pets. Currently I enjoy answering questions, providing advice and writing pet care articles for

I graduated as a vet from Sydney Uni in 2006 and have since been completing my Masters in Small Animal Practice and am also updating my skills with a behaviour course through Sydney Uni.

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