What is Histiocytoma in Dogs?

Finding abnormal growth or lumps on our pet’s body can be alarming. During the routine health assessment of your dog, if you happen to find a red-raised growth on their skin, you should immediately bring them to the Virginia Beach veterinary hospital

If you have a young adult dog who has recently grown a hairless lump on his skin, it could be histiocytoma. Although these red lumps may seem to ulcerate, they are benign and painless. Most often, a dog may not even notice the swelling. 

However, you might have a lot of queries regarding histiocytoma. In this blog, we have answered some of these questions for you. 

What Is a Histiocytoma?

As scary as the name sounds, histiocytoma is a non-cancerous growth that is widespread in young dogs. The classic characteristics of histiocytoma are hairless, red lumps that may suddenly pop up anywhere on the dog’s body. The lump or bulge starts in the Langerhans cells called histiocytes. The Langerhans cells are found in the immune system of the dogs, and they help their body fight off foreign germs and particles. Luckily, histiocytoma may resolve without medication or veterinarian intervention. While all dog breeds are susceptible to getting histiocytoma, breeds like coated retrievers, bulldogs, and boxers are most likely to get histiocytoma.

How to detect Histiocytomas in Dogs?

Dogs younger than three years of age are most likely to develop histiocytomas on their body. The best way to identify histiocytomas is to look for a hairless, raised red lump. The lumps are smooth and look similar to buttons. They are commonly found on the limps, head, ears, or neck. The lumps are usually small in size but may get large. 

Can Histiocytomas become cancerous?

On a microscopic level, histiocytomas are not a cancerous growth. These growths belong to the class of round cell tumours. While histiocytomas are benign, some types of round cell tumours are cancerous or malignant. If you suspect or see any sudden lump or growth on your dog’s body, you should have it checked by your vet at a veterinary hospital to rule out the possibility of cancer. 

How are Histiocytomas diagnosed?

Although histiocytomas are not dangerous, it’s best to see a doctor even if you suspect your dog has one. The diagnoses of histiocytomas involve a thorough physical examination of the dog as well as a review of the dog’s history. 

A microscopic test of the tumour is the most definitive diagnosis of such growths. The vet may suggest removing the lump and conducting a lump biopsy or performing a fine needle aspirate or FNA. In the fine needle aspirate process, the cells from the lump are collected on a needle. The cells are then transferred to the slide for further investigation. The process is minimally invasive and doesn’t require much time. If the growth has developed in the region where it is challenging to perform either procedure, your vet may suggest waiting and watching if the lump disappears on its own.

How to treat histiocytomas?

If the new lump growth on your dog’s body has been diagnosed as histiocytomas, your vet may suggest performing surgery to remove the lump. 

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