Does Your Pet Need a Biopsy?

A needle biopsy usually does not require anesthesia or sedation

When growths, tumors, lumps or bumps are found on our pets it is often necessary for veterinarians to perform a biopsy to determine a specific diagnosis. When possible, veterinarians will often try and obtain the biopsy with a needle and syringe in what is known as a needle biopsy. This procedure usually does not require anesthesia or sedation, and is performed by aspirating cells from the growth and examining them on a microscope either directly in the veterinary office or sent to an outside laboratory.

Needle aspiration often allows veterinarians to make tentative diagnoses of tumors such as benign soft fatty tumors known as lipomas, mast cell tumors, as well as malignant lymphomas. In order to make a definitive diagnosis, however, an excisional biopsy either ultrasound guided or at surgery is necessary.  These types of biopsies are often necessary to stage the tumor, as well as provide useful information in guiding treatment.

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6 Comments

  1. great post…Dogs and cats commonly develop lumps and growths on their skin. Sometimes these lumps are cancerous, but in other cases, they are simply warts or other noncancerous (benign) growths. Examining a lump does not always give your veterinarian enough information to tell whether it is cancerous or not. A biopsy may be recommended to obtain more information about a suspicious lump.

    Glenmore Park Vet

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks for your excellent points and additional comments.

  3. I am relatively certain that my dog ( a 10 y/o Cockapoo ) has some warts. They seem to cause him NO pain, and he doesn’t scratch at them and they aren’t bloody. Is there some kind of medication and/or diet that may address this?

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 29, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    You could try the homeopathic remedy Thuja in 30c potency given one pellot every 1 week for 4 weeks to see if that may shrink them. If no help consult with professional veterinary homeopath http://www.doctordym.com http://www.theAVH.org or address it with your traditional vet.

  5. Our little dog has been getting warts all over him. They do not seem to bother him, except the ones on his paws which he has chewed off. He is 15 years old. I have tried a wart remover for dogs and it is not doing anything. Our vet had to remove one from his bottom because of bleeding. He keeps getting more and more of them. Is there any thing we can do about this ?

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    HI Diana. You can try the homeopathic remedy Thuja in 30c potency, by giving ONE pellot by mouth ONCE weekly for 4 weeks. At the same time try topical vitamin E and/or castor oil to the warts 2 to 3 times daily. See if this helps over several weeks.

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