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:
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.
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.
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