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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22450
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a nine yr old cocker spaniel, over the last six months

Customer Question

I have a nine yr old cocker spaniel, over the last six months he has developed visible lumps either side of his hips, he is not in any pain eatung and drinking well. what could this be
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


Are the lumps symmetrical to one another?

Just in front of the hips?


Do they look to be under the skin or deeper (under the muscle)?


Are they hard or soft? Tender to the touch?


Does Alfie look to be losing weight or muscle mass in the back end?


If possible, could you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, I am happy to have a look (since it will let me see what you are seeing). To post them, you can either use the wee paper clip on the tool bar (How To). Or you can post them on a 3rd party site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, etc) and paste the web address here.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

swelling either side are in front of the hip. appears to be deep in under the muscle. soft not tender to touch. but his whole shape changed looks distended on either side. he appears happy and his normal self. have noticed sometimes he has trouble jumping up into car only sometimes though

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Carol,

Even if Alfie is otherwise well, I am a wee bit concerned about what you are seeing here. While we can see muscle wastage with old age lead to increased prominence and visibility of normal body structures, this body shape change makes this less likely.

Now when we see symmetrical swellings just in front of the hip that deep to the muscle layer, then this can suggest a few different issues. Since both sides are affected, this makes individual growths or tumors less likely. As well, since these lumps are not superficial, fatty tissue masses would also be less likely. Still, we do have to a wee bit concerned about Alfie's kidneys. We can see swelling of the kidneys associated with infection (though often this leads to sore kidneys), secondary to kidney cysts, growths, and tumors.

As well, if he appears to have a body shape change that gives him a distended appearance, it is quite possible that instead of being clinically abnormal his kidneys may be being displaced by something lower in the abdomen. This can include fluid accumulation from heart, liver, or circulation troubles. As well, it can also be secondary to enlargement of organs or growths on organs within the abdomen.

Overall, I am very glad that Alfie is happy and his normal self but I would advise that this is something we do want to look into sooner rather then later with him. If he is due a booster soon, then it'd be ideal move that up to have him checked. His vet can palpate these lumps to give you an idea of what is causing them, as well as the rest of his abdomen to rule out any issues within displacing the kidneys. Depending on their findings, they can advise you which of the above is the case of Alfie and what can be done to keep him comfortable and address this for him.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )