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Bump on side of dog's neck

by Danielle
(Lakewood, CA)

About two weeks ago we noticed a 1/4" bump on the side of our dog's neck right near but not under her collar. It does not seem to have grown any and is only slightly rough. It does not seem to cause her any discomfort (except when trying to take the picture).

Should we watch it for growth? Take her to the vet right away? Can you tell me anything based on the picture?

Here is some background on Kira:

Kira is our 75 pound four year old Golden Retriever / Standard Poodle mix (dad is pure Golden Retriever and mom is a Goldendoodle so I figure 75% retriever 25% poodle??). She has seizures which are very well controlled with 75mg of phenobarbital twice daily.

We feed her Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight dry food 1-1/2 cups twice a day with the occasional dog treats of course.

She has had issues with itchy dry skin in the past so per our vet's recommendation she is bathed once to twice weekly with Head & Shoulders shampoo which controls the itch.

Kira is very active running, playing frisbee, fetch & just roughhousing with her dog friends.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Comments for Bump on side of dog's neck

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Jan 25, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Bump on side of dog's neck
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Danielle,
The photo of Kira's bump is slightly out of focus, so I cannot give you a specific diagnosis, but there appears to be redness around the bump, which may indicate inflammation or underlying infection. Or, it may be her 'normal' VERY pink itchy skin.

Since it has not changed in two weeks and you have not seen NEW bumps appear, I do not think it is an emergency. It may be a clogged sebaceous 'oil' gland (Sort of like a large pimple).

You mentioned some of her background history, which included that she does have itchy dry skin. And that you have been using Head and Shoulders shampoo to bathe her. That is not a shampoo that I would recommend for a dog, since it is a human shampoo, and the pH of dog skin is different than human skin. Also, humans have sweat glands and dogs do not.

I would advise a few changes both in her diet and in her skin care that may help her and may unclog her sebaceous gland (if that is what is happening!).

Try an oatmeal shampoo to bathe her 1-2 times per week. This will not dry out her skin nor clog her oil glands, and it is made for dogs with itchy skin!

Supplement her diet with 2,000-3,000mg of Omega 3 fish oil for dogs daily. This will act as a natural anti-inflammatory and will help moisturize her skin 'from the inside'.

Daily brushing. This will help to stimulate her oil glands and open them up.

Continued in Part TWO.

Jan 25, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Bump on side of Dog's neck PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Danielle,
Here is the rest of my response for Kira.

Instead of feeding her a DRY dog food, try a Blue Buffalo canned version and mix 50:50 dry/canned to transition her to a diet that contains more moisture. Just adding water to the dry food will not benefit her skin.

You might also consider changing her to a raw dog food diet. For dogs with chronic skin conditions, (and considering that she also has seizures), I feel that a RAW diet would be the healthiest diet you could offer her.

Another suggestion... since Kira is taking Phenobarbital to control her seizures, she should ALSO be taking a supplement to support her liver. The liver functions to process all drugs, and with long term drug use, it would help to give her 8mg per lb of MILK THISTLE, or 600 mg TWO times daily while she is on Phenobarb.

For more detailed guidance, consulting with a holistic veterinarian would be best, especially if this 'bump' does not clear up after 2-3 weeks on the improved diet, and a change in shampoo!

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Dog Itchy Skin,
- Dog Skin Rash,
- Dog Skin Allergies,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Hair Loss Section

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