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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16744
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 9 month old puppy has a large hard lump appear on top of

Customer Question

My 9 month old puppy has a large hard lump appear on top of his head. This appeared last Saturday afternoon, he has also had loose stools with at times a small amount of blood in them can you advise ????
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about Theo's large, hard lump on his head and loose stools with blood in them.
It is possible that these two things are unrelated. Puppies often have gastrointestinal parasites and those can cause loose, sometimes bloody, stools. I highly recommend that your fellow have a couple fresh stool samples checked by his veterinarian for gastrointestinal parasites.
Firm lumps on a puppy's can be related to a benign mass called a dermoid cyst. This is a type of non-cancerous tumor that forms in the middle layer of the skin during development in the womb. They are fairly common in dogs, present at birth and probably hereditary. Inside these cysts contain skin flakes, hair, hair follicles, sweat and sebaceous gland secretions, nerve remnants and glandular debris. These can be singular or clusters and are found mostly along the top of the neck and back. Dermoid cysts usually are harmless but they can be itchy as they enlarge.
Because the lump showed up suddenly the lump on top of his head however it could be a calcified hematoma (bruise) due to trauma (bumping his head). Puppies tend to be uncoordinated and he could easily have bumped his head leading to bleeding under the skin, and as the blood clots and coalesces the clot can become quite firm feeling.
If he had access to anticoagulant rodenticides, has a clotting disorder, or a history of tick bites which can transfer tick borne diseases, then the two things could be related. If his clotting ability is poor he can bleed easily with just slightly being bumped, and he could have gastrointestinal bleeding.
Is it possible that he may have eaten rat or mouse poison?
Does he have a history of bleeding easily or bruising?
Any history of tick bites?
How is he feeling otherwise?
At this point I recommend checking his abdomen and bottom of his chest as well as his gums for any signs of bruising. If he has signs of bruising he should see his veterinarian immediately.
Here is a link to show examples of bruising:
1) http://kingedwardvet.co.za/images/kinged/patient-tum.jpg
2) http://www.merckmanuals.com/media/vet/photos/media/photos/cpphe06.jpg
If he has no signs of bruising then I still would have his veterinarian check him over, but this isn't an emergency. Make sure to take a fresh stool sample with you when you take him to be examined.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.