A Dog Has a Lump under the Tail: What Was Whiskey’s Large Swelling?

The first rule of lumps is that you should not rely on your eyes to identify them.

There are exceptions. For example, when it concerns lumps under the tail—by the rectum—the chances are that it is an anal gland abscess. Other signs of anal sac disease are quite telling and include:

  • scooting
  • licking and biting at the base of the tail
  • irritability
  • straining to defecate
  • bad odor
  • discharge
  • redness and swelling around the rectum
  • visible abscess

Further reading: Anal Sac Disease in Dogs

However, it is often true that the scarier the cause, the fewer initial symptoms.

A Dog Has a Lump under the Tail: What Was Whiskey's Large Swelling?

Whiskey’s story

Whiskey was a senior dog, but despite his advanced age, he was still happy and active. His mom groomed and cared for Whiskey with love. Then, one day, she noticed a soft bump under Whiskey’s tale. It was soft and didn’t seem to bother him, but quickly, it became quite large. So whiskey’s mom went to see a veterinarian.

At the veterinarian

The lump was right under the tail, not by Whiskey’s rectum. The veterinarian examined it but knew that the only way to identify it is grabbing a sample of the cells and examining them under a microscope. As he inserted the needle to collect the cells, the lump discharged pale yellow fluid. It had the color and consistency of urine.

Could it be that Whiskey’s bladder flipped on itself and herniated through the abdominal muscles?

However, after the veterinarian analyzed the fluid, it was definitely not urine. So, could it be a cyst? Cysts are not unusual in senior dogs. While typically harmless in themselves, some cysts can become a problem simply because of their size.

Whiskey’s treatment

Normally, it would be a good plan to remove the cyst. But because of Whiskey’s age, the risk to benefit felt too far on the side of risk. The middle-ground solution was to drain it. Even though the cyst was going to refill, it took care of the problem for the time being.

Two weeks later, Whiskey’s cyst needed to be drained again. However, Whiskey remained a happy dog the entire time, and this approach seemed to have been a good plan for him.

Four weeks later

However, the fluid continued to collect, and four weeks later, the cyst was full again. Should that change the plan?

Whiskey’s parents decided that Whiskey is a happy dog. The risk of surgery for him was higher than it seemed worth it. Draining the cyst regularly was the way to go. Regular draining can keep Whiskey comfortable and happy for a long enough time.

Source story:
Whiskey Developed a Large Swelling Under His Tail

Related articles:
What Is That Bump on My Dog: Canine Lumps, Bumps, and Growths
A Primer on Cysts in Dogs: What Are Cyst?

Further reading:
Lumps, Bumps, Cysts & Growths on Dogs

Categories: ConditionsCystsDog health advocacyLumps and bumpsReal-life StoriesSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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