Wednesday Gambler went to the pond jumped in and came back black of course this was all right before we needed to go to pet therapy. I gave him a bath and noticed a lump that was bleeding on his left rear paw.
From the looks of it and how it cropped up very suddenly I knew I needed to take him to work with me the next day and have it checked and possibly removed. To me it looked like either a histiocytoma which is a benign tumor or a mast cell which can be a serious tumor.
Thursday I loaded up Gambler and off to work we went. When I got to work I did a FNA which is a fine needle aspirate on the lump. When you do this you stick a needle into the lump and extract some cells, you then put the cells on a microscope slide, stain the slide and then look at it under the microscope.
These cells turned out to be histiocytoma cells so I was relieved. If the cells were mast cells I would of seen many dark granules through out the whole slide which I didn’t see. Because the lump was bleeding and Gambler took to licking it I decided to have my boss remove the lump because we are leaving for Canada in a week and I didn’t want anything to happen while hunting.
A histiocytoma is a benign skin growth that usually goes away by itself if given enough time. The typical histiocytoma patient is a young adult dog, usually less than 2 years of age, with a round eroded growth somewhere on the front half of its body. Of course, not every patient seems to have read the text book. Such growths can be found on rear legs or in older patients as well. Because there are other growths that can look just like a histiocytoma, it is important to get the right diagnosis as the other conditions may not be as benign.
The histiocytoma is a tumor originating from what is called a Langerhans cell. This Langerhans cells live in the skin and serve as part of the immune system by processing incoming antigens and presenting them to other immunologic cells. It is especially common in Labrador retrievers, Staffordshire terriers, Boxers, and Dachshunds. It is not related to the malignant process called histiocytosis. Veterinary Partner
We have a laser surgery unit at Harmony Pet Clinic, it was what my boss uses for each surgery instead of a scalpel blade. It cuts and cauterizes at the same time so there is less bleeding. For this procedure she did a local block around the lump then ablated the lump and got the underlying tissue. No sutures were necessary as the ablation didn’t go that deep. A scab will form, it will heal up and he will be no worse for wear.
Since the lump has been removed he doesn’t even lick his paw. He shouldn’t be affected at all for hunting and should be able to perform just like he always does.