Masses on dogs and cats can be benign and harmless or they can be cancerous and problematic. Many senior dogs will develop what the veterinary industry calls, ‘lumpy and bumpy.’ Some breeds are more predisposed to develop these than others.
Dangerous or not? While we wish Dr. Sinko could tell if a mass is one or the other just by looking, that is simply impossible. No doctor can look at a mass and determine with certainty the pathology. Masses can be tested by doing a fine needle aspirate where Dr. Sinko will use a small needle to remove cells and put them on a slide that is sent to the lab to be read by a veterinary pathologist.
If the mass is determined to be cancerous it should be removed. It is crucial, in these cases, that enough tissue is removed around the mass to be sure all cancer cells are removed. Dr. Sinko will send off the mass to the lab to ensure that what is known as ‘sufficient margins’ has been achieved. If a mass is determined to be cancerous Dr. Sinko will help you decide if an oncologist should be consulted for further treatment.
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