Ask the Vet
Q: My dog, “Princess,” has a tumor on her leg. The vet says its a histiocytoma. She told me not to worry about it, but having a tumor on my dog is pretty scary. What should I do? P.L., Farragut
A: Please be assured that histiocytomas are benign tumors! Additionally, most of these tumors regress on their own within a few months, thus typically do not require surgery.
Although these tumors can look scary, they are not. Histiocytomas are generally red, raised, almost ‘button-like’, and are occasionally itchy. They should, however, be differentiated from other types of malignant tumors. This is most commonly done by placing a needle into the tumor and examining the cells.
You didn’t mention how old Princess is, but histiocytomas are more common in younger dogs, but can certainly occur at any age. The tumors are common in dach-shunds, labs and boxers, but could affect any breed.
If Princess’ tumor does not go away on its own or if it should become very itchy, surgery is always an option. Most likely Princess will be just fine. Best of luck to her.
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