Does Your Pet Need a Biopsy?
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.