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Cocker Spaniels/Cavalier Spaniel- bumps under skin


QUESTION: My King Charles Cavalier Spaniel is about 3 years old. Over the past 4-5 months I've noticed some small (the size of like 1/4 of a pea (tiny but she's also a small dog). These lumps are under the skin and pretty firm. It started as just one but now I am finding them on her side (near the rib cage) on her legs, on her back near her tail. I asked my vet and they said not to worry, that it was likely fatty tissue it now that I am finding more lumps it is starting to worry me.

She is on a grain free diet. No change in her behavior. I also give her baths 1-2 times a month. Just want to put my mind at ease of anyone else has dealt with something similar with their pup.


ANSWER: Lindsay, can you see these little bumps at all?  Or are they totally under the skin?

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QUESTION: They are completely under the skin (not on the skin like a bug bite), but the small bumps are very close to the skins surface. When I push on them they move slightly and it doesn't  seem to bother my pup.

ANSWER: If your vet said it was likely fatty tissue, I'd find another vet.  It would be totally rare for a 3 year old to have fatty lipomas and these are definitely not that.

That being said, this isn't something that alarms me but, like you, I'd want a better answer.
Is there a vet Dermatologist in your area?

Does your pup have any allergy symptoms?  Do these appear to be itchy? Does she attempt to lick the areas?  Have any of these grown bigger?  Have any gone away?  You say this began about 5 months ago...what's the climate like where you live?  What are you feeding her?

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QUESTION: I live in Dallas, Texas so I am confident that I could find a dog dermatologist, I honestly didn't know they even had vet dermatologists.

I feed her Fromm (grain free treats as well). She was itching quite a bit a few months back but it was when the season was changing and the temps were getting warmer. She has not been itching the past month or so. Oh and the itching was not where the lumps were, it was all over. I gave her Benadryl and brushed/washed her until she stopped shedding for summer and that seemed to work with no itching/licking after.

The lumps don't seem to be getting bigger it just concerns me that more are starting to appear.

Thanks for the hep!

Texas is hard on spaniels with their floppy ears and propensity for skin issues.

Wish I could pop over and take a look at her.'s what I'm thinking.  Ask your vet to do a fine needle aspiration of one of these lumps & send it off for analysis.  Even a proper in-house test for bacteria would help.  Any vet should be able to do that. I'm a bit concerned these could be due to infection.  But..they could simply be the doggie version of acne.  And that can be due to allergies.

Benadryl isn't the most effective antihistimine these days and I might give Zyrtec a try to see if it helps.  Plain Zyrtec (not Zyrtec-D which has a decongestant) - one ingredient only (Ceterizine). Check label. Buy tablets,not gelcaps because at her size I'd use 5mg daily so you'll cut a 10 mg. in half.

The first day I'd only use 1/4...if all is well...go to 5mg once a day.  Give it a week since dogs don't react to antihistimines as quickly as we do.

I'd also bath her with a medicated shampoo once a week.

Also - one more question.  When you part her fur on these little bumps, is it red?  Or the normal pink skin?

Cocker Spaniels

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Delores Beck


Health, nutrition, training. Please note: I used to highly recommend Innova products but, unfortunately, as with Canidae, they have sold out to Proctor & Gamble. This guarantees lower quality to a dangerous point so I will no longer be advising anyone to buy it.


20 years of owning this breed.

Psychology, MA

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