Histiocytoma in Dogs

Histiocytoma in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Skin Lump

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Rated as moderate conditon

14 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Skin Lump

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Histiocytoma in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What is Histiocytoma?

These growths are common skin tumors that appear on dogs, and are usually self-healing dermal growths singular in number. They are often seen in younger dogs but do occur in canines of any age. The most common site where these growths can occur on your dog is on the head, ears and limbs. They appear as raised lumps that move freely when touched, and may become ulcerated. Most resolve themselves over time without treatment, but surgical removal is an option if it is causing a problem for your dog.

A histiocytoma is  an external buttonlike growth on your dog that is hairless or with an ulcerated surface. These are usually benign and are not painful.

Symptoms of Histiocytoma in Dogs

  • Usually a small raised button like growth that 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
  • When they first appear, they grow rapidly within the first 1-4 weeks
  • They may become ulcerated or infected, especially if your dog starts to lick or ‘worry’ the site causing it to bleed and allowing infection to set in

Types

 

There are generally two types of histiocytomas or tumor-like growths in dogs. The small button like growth is the most common, and is usually harmless, unless they become ulcerated or infected. Generally, these growths occur mostly in younger dogs and disappear over time without any treatment. 

The other variety are called fibrous histiocytomas and are not well understood. Some soft cell tumors of this type are malignant (cancerous) but they are rare in dogs. They are firm and lumpy in appearance and can be quite large. These growths require surgical treatment.

Causes of Histiocytoma in Dogs

  • Not a lot is known about how or what stimulates these growths but the majority seem to be harmless and self-heal given time
  • Usually occurring in dogs under six years of age, and are possibly the result of growth spurts in the younger canine
  • These growths are not true cancers where the cell growth is uncontrollable, but are more of an overgrowth of cells during the growing years of your pet
  • No virus or infectious agent has been found to stimulate the growths, but insects such as ticks could transmit the stimulus through biting and sucking, which could be spread from dog to dog

Diagnosis of Histiocytoma in Dogs

Diagnosis depends on getting a tissue sample to be able to examine it under a microscope. This is a simple procedure that can be carried out without taking much time.

Your veterinary caregiver will use a needle or a punch biopsy to take a bit of tissue for examination. What that means is they will take a minute sample from the growth so that they can view it under the microscope and determine the type of cell activity that is happening. Because of the mass test (biopsy) results, the decision for treatment can then be made. Checking any ulceration by your veterinarian ensures treatment so that no further infection can occur.

Dogs that are most at risk from histiocytoma growths are the English Bulldogs, Scottish Terriers, Greyhounds, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Chinese Shar Peis. If  that is your dog's breed,  be aware and have the veterinarian check them for these conditions.

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Treatment of Histiocytoma in Dogs

Usually these growths self-heal, and if the tumor is not malignant or if it is not worrying your dog, then leaving it alone and monitoring its progress is the easiest solution. Your veterinarian will explain everything to you and will advise a regular check up to monitor the growth. 

Any ulceration needs the attention of the veterinary care giver to clean and treat the wound so that it doesn’t become worse. If it is malignant or is in an area where it is annoying your dog, it can be removed surgically. Your dog may need to stay in the hospital overnight and will need recovery time after surgery. In addition, if it is malignant a small area around the growth will be removed, as well as the growth itself, to ensure all the cancer has been removed. The larger and rare fibrous histiocytomas will need to be surgically removed, with the animal under sedation, and stitches may be needed.

Recovery of Histiocytoma in Dogs

Keeping your dog from licking or biting the tumor will prevent any inflammation or bleeding. If the area is ulcerated, taking great care to keep it clean and to stop the dog licking the growth is important. If the tumor has been removed you need to keep the site dry and clean, make sure any bandaging is kept dry, and report any swelling or bleeding to your veterinarian. Recovery is usually very quick after removal, with attention to the wound important in the first few days afterward, and a repeat visit to the clinic to assess the healing.

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Histiocytoma Average Cost

From 257 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

Histiocytoma Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Shanio

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Lhasa Apso

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12 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Red Bump, Bleeding

My dog had multiple cysts throughout his body, and his vet said that they are just fat and are benign. But now he got a new small cyst (button like, half an inch diameter) that is bleeding a lot all around it. We’re on vacation and I don’t know what to do. How should I treat it? Should I clean it and protect it with a bandage?

Aug. 17, 2018

Shanio's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

If the new mass is continually bleeding, you should try and stop bleeding may applying pressure to the area but there is a chance it will continue bleeding; also we need to be concerned about secondary infection and other issues. This would be something to visit local Veterinarian about wherever you are for assistance. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 18, 2018

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SARA SAHARA

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Scottish Terrier

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3 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

No Pain

I have a picture of the Histocyoma. Located on the foot of my scottish terrier Sara, she is a little less than 3. As you described the growth came rapidly. I am in Mexico and the vet gave me ENROFLOXACINA (Quiroflox 50) (1 tablet per day for 10 days). 9 days have passed and no change in that pinky tumor near a nail. It does not hurt her, she does not leak, does even notice it. Being in a foreign country I like to get several opinions not understanding the language. You mentioned it could disappear after some days. What do you consider a good number of days to wait for it to disappear if it disappears? What other treatment you would suggest? What are your suggestions? I am worried for my dog. Thank you very much.

July 22, 2018

SARA SAHARA's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

It is true that some cases of histiocytoma may spontaneously resolve, a general indicator is around three months but if it is present for longer it may be best to remove it and send it for histopathology to be on the safe side; many times secondary problems from scratching and trauma may lead to secondary infections which would need to be managed or may mean that it needs to be removed sooner. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.vin.com/veterinarypartner/default.aspx?pid=19239&catId;=102899&id;=4952066

July 23, 2018

My French bull dog is 3 and he has the same thing on his chest, the breeder suggested I apply salt water to it for 2 weeks daily and see if it disappears, I’m not sure if I should or not, it’s not worrying him at all if it is growing, it’s been there for about a month now , I am taking him to the vet in 2 weeks for his annual booster before then I just don’t have money for vet fee,

Aug. 6, 2018

Donna W.

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Tank

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Mutt

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13 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Large Red Tumor. Size Of Baseball.

I am not sure if this is a histiocytoma or something else. I am afraid of it rupturing and him bleeding out. Tank is 13 years old and has many lumps (fatty tumors) all over him, but this one looks different. He is not in pain from it and he doesn’t bother with it. Any advice on what this may be and if it will rupture? It is the size of a baseball. It is located on his left side by his stomach. It is red and feels warmer then the rest of his body. Is there any oils or creams I can put on to help make it smaller? Thank you!!

July 15, 2018

Tank's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Without examining Tank, seeing and feeling the mass I cannot say what type of mass or tumour it is; there are many possible types of lumps, bumps and masses which may grow all with different treatments or management options. At this size, you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to determine what it is and the best way to manage it as the possibility of injury is high. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 16, 2018

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Reuben

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English Pointer

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16 Weeks

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Lump

I have a 16week English pointer who has just been diagnosed with a Histioctoma. I want to know how long will it take to disappear,as it right on top of his head, and I would like to show him eventually

June 13, 2018

Reuben's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Histiocytomas may disappear on their own, but there is no set timeframe for this to occur so it is a case of wait and see; sometimes they may ulcerate, get injured, develop secondary infections among other issues which may require medical treatment or surgical removal. Just keep an eye on it for now and visit your Veterinarian if there are any complications. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 14, 2018

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Blondy

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Mixed

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4 Years

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Mild condition

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Slightly Infected Histiocytoma

My 4 year old Mauritian rescue mixed heritage dog (showing golden retriever traits) was diagnosed with a cutaneous histiocytoma via FNA. We were doing well without him worrying the mass, though one day left alone saw him chew it. This led to infection, bursting and an additional (third) trip to the vet. Prior to the third visit I had been treating it with TCP, Betadine and then Brulidene (closest thing to Neosporin in the UK) The third vet visit saw them shave the hair from the area (awkwardly on his right front leg elbow) and then prescribe Flamazine applied sparingly after dabbing the area with saline to clear out any debris. This third visit was Monday 30th May and today is Thursday 3rd May. I am worried about the healing time, the vet said it would ooze a bit, and that it wasn't particularly infected so there was no need for anti-biotics. Is there anything else I can do to help with the healing to get the wound to close up? I have opted for the non-surgical route as I have concerns that the mass can reoccur again. What are the stages of healing at this point? The wound seems more wet than usual which is what concerns me but also darker in places. The vet said healing would depend on skin trauma what can I do to alleviate that trauma? Aside from this Blondy is happy and bright in himself, his appetite is fine and poops are excellent.

May 3, 2018

Blondy's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Without seeing the wound, I have a hard time commenting on healing expectations, unfortunately. If the mass is on his elbow, that is a tough spot to prevent repeated trauma, and providing lots of soft bedding and soft lying places will help. It may help to loosely wrap the area, but again, without seeing it, i'm not sure that that will help or is an option. If the mass continues to be a problem, it might be better to have it removed rather than deal with this ongoing issue - that would be an option that you can talk with your veterinarian about. I hope that things resolve quickly for Blondy.

May 4, 2018

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Ace

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Mixed

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7 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

None

We have a 7 year old mixed breed dog that developed a firm pink nodule on his L front leg, vet wants to try 10 days of simplicef and rimadyl and if nothing happens then to do a punch biopsy or just remove it. Would a FNA be better to figure what it is first before removing it to ensure good margins in case it’s a MCT?

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Morpheus

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German Shepherd

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5 Years

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Mild condition

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Lump
Irritation

Hi, my dog Morpheus is a 5yo GSD. I noticed today he has been licking at his leg and I found a small pink lump. Very very little bleeding (likely from him licking at it). After some research I believe this to be a histiocytoma. I've read that itching means it's in the healing process. Since I've read up I've prevented him from messing with the area. I wiped it down with a little peroxide and covered it with a bandage. Does covering it with a bandage prevent it from healing?

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Leo

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Labrador Retriever

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1 Year

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Ear Lump

My dog got bit in the ear by a younger dog while playing and now has a lump on his ear. It has been 2 months and it has not gone away. Should we wait longer or do we need to have it surgically removed. We did some research and are worried it might a Histiocytoma but we are not sure.

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Lulu

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Yorkshire Terrier

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6 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Wart-Like Appearance
Pink In Color

My 6 year old Yorkshire Terrier had a small, pink, button-like area come up on her back, right below the neck. It is about the size of a pencil eraser and once I discovered it, I assumed it was some type of wart. Today it appeared to have some type of white head on it and I gently gave it a little squeeze to see if anything would happen, and it burst with a little bit of pus, almost like a pimple on a human. However, it did bleed a little and didn’t decrease in size. Is this something I should have checked out at the vet?

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Harvey

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Retriever/lab mix

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1 Year

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Moderate condition

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2 found helpful

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lump
Firm Lump
Pink Lump
Red Lump

My dog Harvey is a 1 year old Golden Retriever black lab-mix mix. I noticed a week or so ago she has on her shoulder what I thought was a scab. Now just the other day it appears to be much larger and showing through her fur. It is a lump; red-pink, firm, and subcutaneous. She does not seem to be bothered by it. I took her to her Veterinarian who specializes in Dermatology and he said it could be either a Histiocytoma or Mast Cell Tumor. He recommended waiting 4 weeks to see if there is any changes in the size. If it gets any larger and if it doesn't get smaller he recommends surgery to remove the tumor and have it biopsied . He gave Entederm to apply twice daily. My question is, should he have done a needle aspirate for Cytology/ Hystocytology before jumping to the conclusion of surgery after only 4 weeks? I know surgery wont be cheap because they make you do pre-op blood work and all the works at this place. I don't want to have surgery on her for a Histiocytoma especially if they are known to last 3 months and go away on their own. Should I take her somewhere else for a needle aspirate and cytology? I'm afraid if I suggest that to him he will tell me that Histiocytomas and MCT's can't be identified by cytology. This is really stressing me out because in 4 weeks is almost December and we are scheduled to fly home for the holidays while she is boarded. If she has a MCT identified by cytology I'd rather have it excised now when it's not so close to the holidays and I can care for her instead of having the boarding place do it at an extra cost.

Histiocytoma Average Cost

From 257 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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