Ask a vet online ‘vet found a soft lump underneath one of my puppies’ – what next?

Question from Eileen Murphy

Hi I have a set of pups.all at 7wks old.took them for there vet check an she found a soft lump underneath one of the girls were her tummy is the vets said it is nothing to worry about! It is a hernia an won’t see to it unless.she gets.spayed but I am still worrying these pups.are bitchions

Answer from Shanika Winters (Online Vet)

Hi Eileen and thank you for your question regarding your puppy’s hernia, I will start by explaining what a hernia is and then discuss the treatment options.

When your puppy had her routine health check with your vet the soft lump that was felt underneath her tummy (abdomen) is what we call an umbilical hernia.  A hernia is a gap or opening that should not be there. You have most likely heard of people with a hernia, this will be describing a diseased disc in their back or an area of muscle separation leading to weakness.

The abdomen of most animals is made up of the organs inside it, a layer of fatty tissue and then three layers of muscle. These muscle layers are joined by a white strip of strong tissue called connective tissue, which forms the Linea Alba, which runs along the mid line of your pet’s abdomen just underneath the skin.

In some animals like your little puppy this strong white line is not complete and there is a gap of varying size, anything from a few millimetres up to a few centimetres.  Through this gap some of the contents of the abdomen may poke through and be felt as a soft lump around the region where your dog’s belly button (umbilicus) would be found.

Umbilical hernias are often first noticed when your puppy has its first check at the vets, provided the lump that can be felt is small, soft and easily pushed back into the abdomen then your vet will tell you not to worry about it.  If however the lump is large, not readily pushed back into the abdomen, changes colour, texture or is painful then urgent action need to be taken.

The small soft variety of lump is often left and the owner asked to feel at it every day at home and report any changes to their vet, as you have mentioned the other option is that the gap can be surgically closed under general anaesthesia specifically to treat the hernia or when your puppy is being spayed.

It is very rare for a small umbilical hernia to become an emergency situation, I have only encountered this once where the hernia became strangulated, the small amount of abdominal fat which had pushed through the gap had twisted on its self and lost its blood supply leading to a purple firm and painful lump being felt underneath the dog.  The dog came in as an emergency appointment and had surgery to remove the diseased tissue and repair the gap, she made a full recovery.

I hope that this has helped you to understand what the umbilical hernia your puppy has is and how and why we treat them.  Please remember to contact your vet immediately if there is any change to the lump that worries you, we are here to help.

 Shanika Winters MRCVS (Online Vet)

If you are worried about your pet, please make an appointment with your vet or use our interactive symptom guide.

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80 thoughts on “Ask a vet online ‘vet found a soft lump underneath one of my puppies’ – what next?

  1. Thank you so much she is been watched closely she has found a new family now she stayed with me for 10 wks so I can keep a eye on it, it never changed in size or colour an wasant painful as I felt it everyday twice aday the New owners have been informed of her situation an was booking her into vets again so not heard nothing so all been well she is good.

  2. Thank you so much she is been watched closely she has found a new family now she stayed with me for 10 wks so I can keep a eye on it, it never changed in size or colour an wasant painful as I felt it everyday twice aday the New owners have been informed of her situation an was booking her into vets again so not heard nothing so all been well she is good.

  3. Hi
    I’m tori-jade
    I’m 12 yrs old
    And I have got an 8 week yr old puppy with a lump on her tummy
    And I’m a lil scared about that it’s getting bigger by the second and I want to know what it is please help me I’m terrerfied

    1. Hello, it is possible that your puppy has a umbilical hernia, which can be quite common in pups. If the lump is soft and in the middle of the tummy, this is certainly possible. Speak to your vet and they can let you know the next step – many times this is easily sorted out.

  4. Hi
    I’m tori-jade
    I’m 12 yrs old
    And I have got an 8 week yr old puppy with a lump on her tummy
    And I’m a lil scared about that it’s getting bigger by the second and I want to know what it is please help me I’m terrerfied

    1. Hello, it is possible that your puppy has a umbilical hernia, which can be quite common in pups. If the lump is soft and in the middle of the tummy, this is certainly possible. Speak to your vet and they can let you know the next step – many times this is easily sorted out.

  5. Hi
    Im 21 and i have a 6 week old puppy i just noticed a lump right under his rib cage in the middle. Its hard and doesnt really seam to bother him when i touch it . He still plays alot like normal but has been walking a little diffrent. He use to eat four times a day small portions but now only 3 and he does not finish it all. He also peas alot like right after i take him out or in small spots around the house. Do you think it’s serious? Im taking him to vet on thursday …

    1. Hi, from the position, it could be a umbilical hernia which can be repaired if needed, even may be part of the breastbone. It is good that you are getting him checked out for peace of mind!

  6. Hi
    Im 21 and i have a 6 week old puppy i just noticed a lump right under his rib cage in the middle. Its hard and doesnt really seam to bother him when i touch it . He still plays alot like normal but has been walking a little diffrent. He use to eat four times a day small portions but now only 3 and he does not finish it all. He also peas alot like right after i take him out or in small spots around the house. Do you think it’s serious? Im taking him to vet on thursday …

    1. Hi, from the position, it could be a umbilical hernia which can be repaired if needed, even may be part of the breastbone. It is good that you are getting him checked out for peace of mind!

  7. Hello, My puppy has one too. I’m taking him to the vet on Monday, but in the meanwhile, I’m wondering if this is something they grow out of? I have seen them on puppies but never on an adult dog. Thank you!

  8. Hello, My puppy has one too. I’m taking him to the vet on Monday, but in the meanwhile, I’m wondering if this is something they grow out of? I have seen them on puppies but never on an adult dog. Thank you!

  9. My puppys has a lump under the neck what could this be i cant afford a vet but currently saving to take them help.please

    1. Hi Ashley, as you can imagine, it would be impossible to discover what the lump is, without examination – which your vet will be able to do… is there a way that any family member or friend can help financially?

  10. My puppys has a lump under the neck what could this be i cant afford a vet but currently saving to take them help.please

    1. Hi Ashley, as you can imagine, it would be impossible to discover what the lump is, without examination – which your vet will be able to do… is there a way that any family member or friend can help financially?

  11. Hi! My 10 week year old German Shepherd and pittbull mix puppy has a soft lump on her stomach. But it seems not to be hurting and I am worried because I’ve been reading and it says it could be a hernia. I am wondering if I should take her to the vet? And if the lump could be something else?

  12. Hi! My 10 week year old German Shepherd and pittbull mix puppy has a soft lump on her stomach. But it seems not to be hurting and I am worried because I’ve been reading and it says it could be a hernia. I am wondering if I should take her to the vet? And if the lump could be something else?

  13. My puppy has a lump right at her bellybutton but it’s not squishy I can move it around but it’s a hard lump

    1. Hello Emily, because it seems a hard lump, it is best to get it checked out with your vet. It possibly is a hernia, but your vets will be able to give you the best advice upon examination of your puppy.

  14. My puppy has a lump right at her bellybutton but it’s not squishy I can move it around but it’s a hard lump

    1. Hello Emily, because it seems a hard lump, it is best to get it checked out with your vet. It possibly is a hernia, but your vets will be able to give you the best advice upon examination of your puppy.

  15. hi my 4 month old german shepherd puppy has a lump on his tunmmy he has been like that since i first got could it be a belly button or birth mark im not sure but can anyone please tell me what it is thank you

  16. hi my 4 month old german shepherd puppy has a lump on his tunmmy he has been like that since i first got could it be a belly button or birth mark im not sure but can anyone please tell me what it is thank you

  17. My puppy is 8 weeks when she is laying on her back I can feel what feels like intestines in her lower abdominal. Is it just organs or do I need to vet her to get her checked out?

    1. Hi Tabitha, she sounds fine – the soft lump that some puppies get is a hernia, which is normally around the area of the ‘belly button’. Of course if you have any worries at all, please speak to your vet.

  18. My puppy is 8 weeks when she is laying on her back I can feel what feels like intestines in her lower abdominal. Is it just organs or do I need to vet her to get her checked out?

    1. Hi Tabitha, she sounds fine – the soft lump that some puppies get is a hernia, which is normally around the area of the ‘belly button’. Of course if you have any worries at all, please speak to your vet.

  19. Hi in have a 12yr old German Shepard she has for a really big lump on her stomach she’s in no pain with it but the lump is getting bigger as I’m writing this its same size as a coconut I’ve been staying away from vets because I don’t want her to die under Anaesthetic as she means everything to me

    1. Hello Brian, you really need to take your dog to a vet. This lump has obviously grown in size, so it will not just go away. The lump could be anything, from a fatty tissue (called a lipoma) to something more sinister – but the only way to find out is to visit a vet. If left the lump could cause many more problems, let alone be difficult to surgically remove. Ultimately your dog will be in discomfort and we are sure you don’t want that. The chance of her dying under anaesthetic is low, but increases with the more strain on the body system along with age factors, which is why you need to seek veterinary advice now. Best of luck.

  20. Hi in have a 12yr old German Shepard she has for a really big lump on her stomach she’s in no pain with it but the lump is getting bigger as I’m writing this its same size as a coconut I’ve been staying away from vets because I don’t want her to die under Anaesthetic as she means everything to me

    1. Hello Brian, you really need to take your dog to a vet. This lump has obviously grown in size, so it will not just go away. The lump could be anything, from a fatty tissue (called a lipoma) to something more sinister – but the only way to find out is to visit a vet. If left the lump could cause many more problems, let alone be difficult to surgically remove. Ultimately your dog will be in discomfort and we are sure you don’t want that. The chance of her dying under anaesthetic is low, but increases with the more strain on the body system along with age factors, which is why you need to seek veterinary advice now. Best of luck.

  21. Just curious I have a German shepherd, & I noticed she has a bump just underneath right in between where her rib cage is… Is it possible she’s pregnant or am I just tripping out?

    1. Hi Tori, she will only be pregnant if she has been mated! The bump could be fatty tissue, sometimes a hernia or even a boney structure. If you are worried please get her checked out at a vet near you.

  22. Just curious I have a German shepherd, & I noticed she has a bump just underneath right in between where her rib cage is… Is it possible she’s pregnant or am I just tripping out?

    1. Hi Tori, she will only be pregnant if she has been mated! The bump could be fatty tissue, sometimes a hernia or even a boney structure. If you are worried please get her checked out at a vet near you.

  23. Yesterday i saw my dog looking depressed outside. She was fine that morning. When i was going to carry inside she started crying. When i finally hoy her in i checked to see what was the source of pain and found a lump. She bearly wanted to eat and serles tired. She is only two years old and is very energectic. Now today i noticed the limo looks bigger and it still hurts her when i touch it. But she has started eating anf looks a little bit happier. What do you think it is and what should i do?

  24. Yesterday i saw my dog looking depressed outside. She was fine that morning. When i was going to carry inside she started crying. When i finally hoy her in i checked to see what was the source of pain and found a lump. She bearly wanted to eat and serles tired. She is only two years old and is very energectic. Now today i noticed the limo looks bigger and it still hurts her when i touch it. But she has started eating anf looks a little bit happier. What do you think it is and what should i do?

  25. Hi, I had recently got me a new pup….. She’s been perfectly fine with me since I got her, she’s had all her shots and has regular visits with the vet. I recently discovered a lump on her tummy and its not a soft one, its actually really hard I’m extremely worried about what it could be. In my last visit with the vet we were prescribed cepholexin due to a skin infection she had when I got her and I’m not sure if maybe that’s what caused the lump. She’s starting to breathe very heavily as if she grasps for air, even as she sleeps , please help me!

    1. Hi Irene, it’s really best to see your vet again and have the lump checked out. Although it’s unlikely that the antibiotics you were prescribed has caused a reaction, it will need checking.

  26. Hi, I had recently got me a new pup….. She’s been perfectly fine with me since I got her, she’s had all her shots and has regular visits with the vet. I recently discovered a lump on her tummy and its not a soft one, its actually really hard I’m extremely worried about what it could be. In my last visit with the vet we were prescribed cepholexin due to a skin infection she had when I got her and I’m not sure if maybe that’s what caused the lump. She’s starting to breathe very heavily as if she grasps for air, even as she sleeps , please help me!

    1. Hi Irene, it’s really best to see your vet again and have the lump checked out. Although it’s unlikely that the antibiotics you were prescribed has caused a reaction, it will need checking.

  27. My puppy was attacked and shaken by a pitbull I had to pry the bulls mouth open after I stopped her from being shook for about 5 secs before I was able to control the pits frenzy. She is very sore now and to touch or move her is very painful for her but on her own she can slowly get up and walk outside and go to the bathroom she is drinking and eating fine but on her belly there is a soft saggy buldge that is very tender. Is she gonna be ok? Please help

    1. Hi Colin, I’m sorry to hear your puppy has undergone such an ordeal. I would strongly recommend that you take your puppy to the vet ASAP for examination especially considering the pain she is experiencing and the bulge that you have noticed. I hope she makes a speedy recovery.

  28. My puppy was attacked and shaken by a pitbull I had to pry the bulls mouth open after I stopped her from being shook for about 5 secs before I was able to control the pits frenzy. She is very sore now and to touch or move her is very painful for her but on her own she can slowly get up and walk outside and go to the bathroom she is drinking and eating fine but on her belly there is a soft saggy buldge that is very tender. Is she gonna be ok? Please help

    1. Hi Colin, I’m sorry to hear your puppy has undergone such an ordeal. I would strongly recommend that you take your puppy to the vet ASAP for examination especially considering the pain she is experiencing and the bulge that you have noticed. I hope she makes a speedy recovery.

  29. Hi, I have a six week old pittbull pup and his belly button hasn’t healed since birth and yesterday we gave him a bath and he has been cold every since and he wouldn’t move but he started back walking on that night and his been whining all day and night .. Can you please tell me what could be wrong?

    1. Hi Shonna, I’d recommend you take your puppy to see your vet as soon as you can. He is rather young to be have been removed from the litter (assuming he has been removed) and he is clearly displaying signs of being unwell. There are a number of possible reasons for the symptoms he’s showing, an examination by a vet sounds like the best way forward.

      Best wishes

  30. Hi, I have a six week old pittbull pup and his belly button hasn’t healed since birth and yesterday we gave him a bath and he has been cold every since and he wouldn’t move but he started back walking on that night and his been whining all day and night .. Can you please tell me what could be wrong?

    1. Hi Shonna, I’d recommend you take your puppy to see your vet as soon as you can. He is rather young to be have been removed from the litter (assuming he has been removed) and he is clearly displaying signs of being unwell. There are a number of possible reasons for the symptoms he’s showing, an examination by a vet sounds like the best way forward.

      Best wishes

  31. Hello, I have a 11 month old pup and I noticed she has a few lumps around her nipples on the right side of her body…she is being her usual self… nothing out of the ordinary expect those pink lumps. Please help I tend to over analyze

    1. Hi Marien, there are a number of things that these lumps could be. I would take her to your vet to be checked over, they will be able to advise you more easily upon examination of these lumps. Best wishes.

  32. Hello, I have a 11 month old pup and I noticed she has a few lumps around her nipples on the right side of her body…she is being her usual self… nothing out of the ordinary expect those pink lumps. Please help I tend to over analyze

    1. Hi Marien, there are a number of things that these lumps could be. I would take her to your vet to be checked over, they will be able to advise you more easily upon examination of these lumps. Best wishes.

  33. I had a litter of 10 boxer puppies 4 days ago. I had one female that had a rough birth, born with her sack broken for about ten min. Before she was fully delivered. We expelled small amounts of blood from her mouth and nose and she was not a strong nurser. After two days she was lethargic and weak. All litter mates were strong.out of desperation We gave her a small proper dose for her size of pyrentyl .. As well as small doses of kyro syrup, making sure she is feeding from mommy at least every 25 min. Waking her up if she feel asleep during feeding. She seemed to react well to all if this and feeding stronger more active and alert… Today we took everyone to the vets to have tails and dew claws removed and with the input of our vet elected not to go forward with this on our little girl due to her weakened state. He felt she was strong and just needed some time and tlc. But now 4 hours after being home we were going over all the babies and noticed she has a lump about half the size of a gumball by her Lowest rib on her left side, not on the belly. It’s is soft and almost reminds me if a large hive. I’m trying to figure out if this could be from worms, her worm medicine, fleas(all our animals are treated but we were at the vets) or possibly an allergy to the latex gloves we used today at the vets…. Please help me out with possibilities I don’t want to lose this little girl if we can do ANYTHING to prevent it.

    1. Hi Jade, that is a rough start to life isn’t it? You are obviously dedicated to this little lady and as such I’d recommend that you take her back to your vet to have this lump examined. The lump could be related to a number of things including a herniation from a rough birth or allergies, it’s really hard to say. Some of the possibilities could be quite concerning. Therefore, as I’m sure you’re aware, responding rapidly to health issues of a puppy, especially one who is compromised already, is the best bet for ensuring a healthy pup. Best of luck, we really hope she makes it.

  34. I had a litter of 10 boxer puppies 4 days ago. I had one female that had a rough birth, born with her sack broken for about ten min. Before she was fully delivered. We expelled small amounts of blood from her mouth and nose and she was not a strong nurser. After two days she was lethargic and weak. All litter mates were strong.out of desperation We gave her a small proper dose for her size of pyrentyl .. As well as small doses of kyro syrup, making sure she is feeding from mommy at least every 25 min. Waking her up if she feel asleep during feeding. She seemed to react well to all if this and feeding stronger more active and alert… Today we took everyone to the vets to have tails and dew claws removed and with the input of our vet elected not to go forward with this on our little girl due to her weakened state. He felt she was strong and just needed some time and tlc. But now 4 hours after being home we were going over all the babies and noticed she has a lump about half the size of a gumball by her Lowest rib on her left side, not on the belly. It’s is soft and almost reminds me if a large hive. I’m trying to figure out if this could be from worms, her worm medicine, fleas(all our animals are treated but we were at the vets) or possibly an allergy to the latex gloves we used today at the vets…. Please help me out with possibilities I don’t want to lose this little girl if we can do ANYTHING to prevent it.

    1. Hi Jade, that is a rough start to life isn’t it? You are obviously dedicated to this little lady and as such I’d recommend that you take her back to your vet to have this lump examined. The lump could be related to a number of things including a herniation from a rough birth or allergies, it’s really hard to say. Some of the possibilities could be quite concerning. Therefore, as I’m sure you’re aware, responding rapidly to health issues of a puppy, especially one who is compromised already, is the best bet for ensuring a healthy pup. Best of luck, we really hope she makes it.

  35. Hi, Imy dog has had a lump on her head for about a year it goes up and down but recently the lump has a tiny scab on it, today I noticed the scab has gone, and it was pussing a little so I squeezed it and a yellow/green colour come out form it she is totally fine in herself and it didn’t seem painful atall for her any idea what is could be ?

    1. Hi Alistair, it sounds as if there’s an infection there which could have resulted from a number of causes including a cat scratch, a foreign body or a thorn, among other things. A year is a long time to have this infection so I advise that you take her to your vet to have it investigated. It might require cleaning, foreign body removal, antibiotics for example, if it hasn’t cleared up of it’s own accord in a year then it’s unlikely to and the infection may only get worse. Best wishes.

  36. Hi, Imy dog has had a lump on her head for about a year it goes up and down but recently the lump has a tiny scab on it, today I noticed the scab has gone, and it was pussing a little so I squeezed it and a yellow/green colour come out form it she is totally fine in herself and it didn’t seem painful atall for her any idea what is could be ?

    1. Hi Alistair, it sounds as if there’s an infection there which could have resulted from a number of causes including a cat scratch, a foreign body or a thorn, among other things. A year is a long time to have this infection so I advise that you take her to your vet to have it investigated. It might require cleaning, foreign body removal, antibiotics for example, if it hasn’t cleared up of it’s own accord in a year then it’s unlikely to and the infection may only get worse. Best wishes.

  37. Hi my 3 month old pit mix puppy has 2 small lumps on her belly that almost look like pimples. she is very active and never misses a meal im just worried i have a vet apt tomorrow morning just wondering if anyone has gone through this before

  38. Hi my 3 month old pit mix puppy has 2 small lumps on her belly that almost look like pimples. she is very active and never misses a meal im just worried i have a vet apt tomorrow morning just wondering if anyone has gone through this before

  39. I recently discovered a lump on my chihuahua/yorkie mix 4 month puppy’s lower right belly. Its squishy and doesn’t seem to bother her. She is still extremely active and doesn’t seem different. What could this be?

    1. Hi Tiara, there could be many possible causes for this lump including herniation. It would be sensible to take your puppy to be examined by your vet who will determine the cause and whether it needs to be acted upon. Whatever the cause it would be sensible for the vet to see the lump currently and help you monitor how it changes. A hernia can become problematic to a serious degree as can other types of ‘lumps’ therefore assessing it with the vet and making a plan from there is the best option. Best wishes.

  40. I recently discovered a lump on my chihuahua/yorkie mix 4 month puppy’s lower right belly. Its squishy and doesn’t seem to bother her. She is still extremely active and doesn’t seem different. What could this be?

    1. Hi Tiara, there could be many possible causes for this lump including herniation. It would be sensible to take your puppy to be examined by your vet who will determine the cause and whether it needs to be acted upon. Whatever the cause it would be sensible for the vet to see the lump currently and help you monitor how it changes. A hernia can become problematic to a serious degree as can other types of ‘lumps’ therefore assessing it with the vet and making a plan from there is the best option. Best wishes.

  41. I have a 17 week old puppy. We got him from a rescue three weeks ago. He has been to our vet two weeks ago and got a great bill of health. Just yesterday I noticed while petting him that he has a small squishy lump on his right side at the end of his rib cage, right before his hind leg starts. He doesn’t have one on the left side . I don’t know dog anatomy, so I’m wondering if this is part of his body?! Like a muscle? It does not hurt him at all. He is a coon hound so he has very long legs and he slides and falls a lot when he is playing. I’m wondering if he could have pulled a muscle, caused a hernia- if one would even form there? It’s more towards his back rather than his tummy, we r going to call our vet anyways to get it checked out but I was wondering if someone else knows what this is? Thanks in advance !

    1. Hi Jenn, there are a number of things this could be including a hernia which is why it’s best to be examined by a vet in person. And especially considering the age of your dog, it’s best to get it checked soon. Do let us know what the outcome was after your vet appointment! Many thanks

  42. I have a 17 week old puppy. We got him from a rescue three weeks ago. He has been to our vet two weeks ago and got a great bill of health. Just yesterday I noticed while petting him that he has a small squishy lump on his right side at the end of his rib cage, right before his hind leg starts. He doesn’t have one on the left side . I don’t know dog anatomy, so I’m wondering if this is part of his body?! Like a muscle? It does not hurt him at all. He is a coon hound so he has very long legs and he slides and falls a lot when he is playing. I’m wondering if he could have pulled a muscle, caused a hernia- if one would even form there? It’s more towards his back rather than his tummy, we r going to call our vet anyways to get it checked out but I was wondering if someone else knows what this is? Thanks in advance !

    1. Hi Jenn, there are a number of things this could be including a hernia which is why it’s best to be examined by a vet in person. And especially considering the age of your dog, it’s best to get it checked soon. Do let us know what the outcome was after your vet appointment! Many thanks

  43. My 10 month old puppy has lumps near the scar from when she was spade. They were not there immediately after her operation but appeared about 6 weeks after. The vet checked them at the time but didn’t seem concerned. Today I have noticed that she has a small scab in the same region. She seems perfectly fine in every other way.

    1. Hi Mandy, this is a tricky one to answer without examining the lumps/scab. If they aren’t going away and in fact are changing, it would be worth getting back in touch with the vet who last examined them so that they may make a comparison and advise you from there.

  44. My 10 month old puppy has lumps near the scar from when she was spade. They were not there immediately after her operation but appeared about 6 weeks after. The vet checked them at the time but didn’t seem concerned. Today I have noticed that she has a small scab in the same region. She seems perfectly fine in every other way.

    1. Hi Mandy, this is a tricky one to answer without examining the lumps/scab. If they aren’t going away and in fact are changing, it would be worth getting back in touch with the vet who last examined them so that they may make a comparison and advise you from there.

  45. Good morning. I have a pug puppy that I got on Saturday. I have recently found a lump on his belly. Its soft and small. It does not seem that he is in any kind of pain. He had fleas and we gave him a proper bath to remove them all. He had a flea coller, but we removed it since he keeps on scratching. We pick him up on a regular bases. Could it be an allergic reaction to the collar or to the shampoo, or because we pick him up to much?

    1. Hi Anette, there are a number of possibilities for this lump from a hernia or an injury to an allergy or something altogether different. For this reason, a vet check is definitely what we recommend. Puppies this young can deteriorate so very quickly so the sooner the better. Fleas can also cause more of an issue in the young as anaemia can result which is pretty serious as you can imagine. So while you’re at the vets, talk to them about getting rid of that flea infestation too with safe and effective methods and products. Best wishes.

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