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:
- licking and biting at the base of the tail
- straining to defecate
- bad odor
- 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.
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.
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.
Whiskey Developed a Large Swelling Under His Tail
Lumps, Bumps, Cysts & Growths on Dogs