Histiocytoma in dogs

2 min read

Histiocytoma in dogs - Vetster

A Histiocytoma is a growth that develops on the surface of a dog's skin. Histiocytomas are benign, non-cancerous nodules.

Histiocytoma can occur in any breed of dog but boxers, bulldogs, and flat-coated retrievers are the more commonly affected breeds. Histiocytomas are not contagious and they tend to be more common in young dogs under the age of 2 years. They do not pose any threat to any humans or any other animals that come into contact with affected dog.


Pet owners may observe the following symptoms if their dog has developed a histiocytoma:

  • A small button like growth appears on the head, ears or limbs
  • Often it is a single lump but there can be more
  • The lump is painless, often hairless and the lump moves freely when touched
  • There can be rapid growth of the nodule after it first appears
  • Often the lump will spontaneously disappear as quickly as it first appears
  • Lumps usually have a red, raspberry like appearance


Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam and likely sample the skin mass using a process known as a fine needle aspirate. Evaluation of the cells obtained from the mass under the microscope can help to confirm the suspected diagnosis. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, they may recommend surgical removal. However, many histiocytomas will resolve without surgery or medication on their own, and often monitoring at home is all that is required.

Prevention and recommendations

If surgery is performed to remove the histiocytoma it is important to prevent one’s dog from licking, chewing, or scratching at the incision postoperatively to avoid opening up the incision or creating a secondary infection. If a pet owner notices any significant redness, swelling, missing stitches it is essential to contact a veterinarian immediately.

Have questions about Histocytoma in dogs? Schedule an appointment with one of our veterinary professionals today at Vetster for advice and to learn more!

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