Our Dogs World 101

What Causes Bumps on the Dog’s Back: And What Should You Do?

In the course of walking your dog around, you suddenly noticed a lump at her back. You began to wonder if this lump was present earlier or recently. Although people often think of the worst-case scenario, the most common diagnosis is fatty tumors. However, these benign tumors are safe for your dog and do not pose any danger. If your pet is in pain and you aren’t sure what the cause of the lump is, consult a vet.

How to Diagnose the Bump Cause

The vet will then determine the exact cause and suggest the most appropriate treatment plan for your dog. In case the eye test is not conclusive, they might take a sample. Treatment can vary depending on the cause, so it is crucial to include all aspects.

If your pet has had a lump in her back, the vet may ask you if you noticed it earlier. This is what you should do.

The vet will examine your pet and attempt to identify the cause of the growth. They may ask you some questions to narrow down possible conditions. It could be a sudden occurrence or an ongoing problem.

Here are some causes and remedies for dog bumps.

1. Sebaceous Cysts

These cysts appear as small, bluish-colored bumps on your dog’s skin. The cysts will burst, releasing a grayish or brownish substance. These cysts, which are typically very large pimples, are usually harmless for your pet.

They occur when a hair’s follicle or skin pores become clogged or blocked by scar tissue. Your dog’s shiny hair can also be caused by sebum (an oily substance).

For the treatment of this problem, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications are often sufficient. However, it is best to consult your vet as they might lead you to a more serious condition. You can prevent them from ever happening by giving your dog good hair and skin hygiene.

2. Ticks

They are more likely to be found in taller grass in the spring and early summer. It’s easy to spot ticks, especially if your dog has very short hair. With a pair of tweezers, carefully remove any ticks from your dog. Then gently pull them out. Slowly is best as the ticks can cause infection and other complications.

If you’re not sure how to handle it, you can take your dog to the veterinarian or groomer for help. Avoid walking your dog in tall grass. Instead, invest in tick collars.

3. Skin Tumors

Because there may be skin tumors, hard lumps need to be treated quickly. As skin tumors can be seen more clearly than others, they are one of the most common tumors in dogs.

You should report these to your vet immediately if they are detected. These could be benign, or they could develop into a tumor. A biopsy cannot be performed to determine the exact cause.

If the tumors are small and not spreading, you can remove them. If the skin tumors have spread, however, further treatment is possible. This can depend on a wide range of factors, such as the extent of the tumor, its size, etc. Treatments will typically include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these.

4. Ringworm in Dogs

Ringworm can easily spread quickly from one dog to another because it is highly contagious. Ringworm disease is superficially severe and can be spread to a few parts of your pup’s body.

This disorder, despite the name suggesting otherwise, is caused by fungus and does not include parasites like other types of worms. Its name derives its appearance from the many circular lesions on the dog’s body. These lesions are often accompanied by inflammation or hair loss.

You can help your dog avoid ringworm by keeping him away from infected pets. But, this is not always possible. There are many anti-fungal creams available and oral medications that may be used to help your dog if he gets ringworm.

5. Fleas

Non-stop scratching is the first sign you would see. They can cause infection and make your dog susceptible to other intruders.

These tiny parasites are a common cause of bumpy spots on dogs’ backs. The insects will not be obvious, but the eggs and droppings should be visible.

There are many methods and tools you can use to keep fleas away from your dog. Use a flea collar, flea drops, and any other flea treatment to prevent your dog from being attacked. A vet will likely recommend oral or topical flea treatment if your dog already has the condition.

6. Warts in Dogs

The papillomavirus causes warts. It is contagious to other dogs. However, it is not contagious for humans or other animals. While most warts disappear naturally, bleeding and a weak immune response can cause serious complications.

Although any dog can get warts, younger dogs and adult dogs that spend a lot of time with other dogs are more at risk. A wart’s appearance is usually described as a cauliflower. The inverted papilloma (a smaller type) is more common. This appears as a flat lump with a dot.

Most common treatments include topical anti tumor medications and oral stimulants that boost the immune system. Your dog may develop warts. So, keep him from other dogs until they go away.

You can read our article on 17 Tips to Get Rid of Dog Warts here.

7. Mange Mite Infestation in Dogs

Demodectic and sarcoptic mange is contagious. It can cause bald patches and sores in your dog’s hair.

Sarcoptic measles can easily spread between dogs or people. But these mites are unable to survive on humans. Red skin, sores, and hair loss are the most common symptoms.

Mange skin disorder is caused primarily by mites (parasites). These parasites are small and can get under the skin of your dog, causing irritation and inflammation. Two types of mange are common in dogs.

Mange can be treated in dogs, but it is often difficult to get rid of them because of their reproduction cycle. Chemical-based treatments, anti-parasitic medication, and topical insecticides may be used to treat mange.


Do not neglect to maintain your dog’s cleanliness. You can prevent many of these diseases by keeping your dog clean.

The most important thing to do is not panic if your dog has bumps on her back. If caught quickly, most of these diseases will not be dangerous. It is crucial that you bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible so they can discuss further steps.

Does your dog suffer from any of the above, or have any lumps you are not sure of? Share your experience with us. We would love to hear from you!

And, in the mean time “May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair”


Founder of Our Dogs World 101


8 thoughts on “What Causes Bumps on the Dog’s Back: And What Should You Do?”

  1. This is a great breakdown of bumps! I have 2 Alaskan Malamutes; 1 who has a couple of fatty tumors and 1 who is prone to dry scaly bumps on the skin. I was worried about the fatty tumors, but am glad to hear that they should be ok unless it makes the dog uncomfortable, etc.  I am curious though what a large, flesh color, skin deep bump would be. It almost looks like a fluid filled sack that just grew too big. (doesn’t go below the skin, it’s not hard, and it doesn’t bother my 10 yr old female mal.) Just thought I would throw that out there.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Without actually seeing a picture of this flesh color bump it would be hard to say what it is.

      It maybe worth getting it checked on her next vet visit.

      I love the Malamutes, they really are a great looking dog.


  2. Hello there! Thank you for the very informative article. I just thought I would drop you a quick comment to say thanks. A friend of ours looked after our dog whilst we went on holiday a couple of years ago. As a result our dog caught warts from one of the other dogs who lived in the house. We took Freddy (our dog) to the vet and just as you said in this article, the warts would probably disappear on there own. Eventually they did but it took quite a while. 

    Thanks for the info, I’m really enjoying your site!   

    • Hi Andrew,

      I am glad Freddy got over his warts.

      It can be a little upsetting for some owners when they first see a case of warts on their dogs but as I mentioned they usually disappear themselves with time.

      Glad you are liking our website.


  3. Hey thanks for this article! I’m glad information like this are out there, we know how special our babies are to us so it’s only natural to want to know more about them and how we can help them.

    I don’t own a doggo yet but would love to so by reading these posts I’m definitely preparing well right?

    Is that a English mastiff you have there? It’s adorbs!

    • Hi Sariyah,

      I am glad you liked the article on what causes bumps on the dogs back and yes the English Mastiff s my 2 year old girl called Saffron.


  4. Many years ago I had a German Shepherd that had a skin tumor on his back. Thankfully we removed it and no further problems developed but this showed me how important is to regularly clean and inspect your dog for all kinds of irregularities. It can save you from future health problems for sure.

    • Hi Stratos,

      It really is a great idea to regulary check over your dog for lumps because as you said if you find anything early enough it can definitely help to stop any further health issues.



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