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Large black lump on dog's lip started peeling

by Roderick

Our 7 year old Jack Russell Terrier named Milo has had a large black lump on his upper lip for just over a year. We assumed it was a kind of skin-tag and hoped it would eventually go away by itself.

Unfortunately a few days ago we noticed that the outside of the lump has started to peel away/open-up to reveal redness underneath. It seems painful to the touch as he pulls away when we go near it. We are worried that it might be more serious than we had first thought. Apart from this, he's completely healthy.

He gets extremely excited over the camera, but we managed to hold him still long enough to take some pictures of the lump.

Looking forward to any advice.

Comments for Large black lump on dog's lip started peeling

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Apr 02, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Large black lump on dog's lip started peeling
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Roderick,
The 'lump' on Milo's upper lip appears to be benign. If it has been there for one year, and this is as big as it has grown, I do not consider it to be a malignant growth.

It seems that at this point, Milo may have rubbed it against something to cause it to 'open' up, OR the blood supply to it has become compromised as the 'stem' or 'stalk' that serves as an attachment is becoming smaller.

I think it may be ready to fall off! If Milo has rubbed it against something, it may be mildly infected, and that is why it is tender. OR, if it is becoming 'necrotic' from lack of blood supply it would also be tender.

Either way, I do not think Milo will let you apply anything topical to the lump, and if he did, he would probably lick it off immediately.

I would do nothing for the next 2 weeks.

Although if he does knock it off and it starts bleeding, you may need to apply a styptic powder to it (the same powder used to stop toenails from bleeding if you cut one too short).

If it is infected, a homeopathic remedy called Silicea in 6c or 12c potency would be good. Give one pellet two to three times daily by mouth for 3-4 days. This might help decrease the tenderness.

Or if it is growing, discharging, or NEW lumps are appearing, then a holistic veterinarian might be best to consult that can see Milo in 'person'.

Under NO circumstances should you give Milo a vaccination! In fact, a vaccine one year ago may have triggered the appearance of this lump. If future vaccinations are needed, consult with a holistic veterinarian to write an exemption form.

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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Related Pages:
- Dog Warts,
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Warts, Cysts and Strange Growths Section

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.

Apr 03, 2012
Thank you
by: Roderick

Thank you very much for the excellent advice. I'll let you know how things go.

Thanks again,


Apr 05, 2014
black lump
by: Anonymous

Is it ok to cut it off by using a razor blade ourselfs.

Apr 05, 2014
No do not cut it off
by: Roderick

Hi, i'm guessing from your comment that your dog has a similar problem. If I were you I'd wait to hear back from the professionals, but I think it should be obvious that cutting something like this off with any type of blade would be extremely risky, not to mention extremely painful for your dog - most likely resulting in a lot of blood loss! So please do not do that, instead refer to the above information, or take your dog to a vet.

Apr 05, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Large Black Lump on Dog's Lip started Peeling
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

April 5, 2014

Dear Anonymous,
Roderick gave you the same advice that I would have given.

And, thanks for your question. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from, Roderick, a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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