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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30035
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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My 5 yo Bichon Frise has developed a black spot on his skin.

Resolved Question:

My 5 yo Bichon Frise has developed a black spot on his skin. His vet has no idea what it is. It almost appears like it is a tattoo, but he is not prone to visiting tattoo parlors. The hair is not discolored but is not growing as much as the rest of his body. There is a small lump nonmovable lump underneath the skin at this spot. Bathing him in special antifungal shampoo has not made a difference. Any idea what could be causing this spot?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 7 years ago.


Well, a few thoughts.

First, the changes on the surface of the skin may be unrelated to the the lump beneath.

So, first, I would focus on the lump. It could be anything from a cyst, nodule, mast cell tumor, lipoma (fatty deposit), etc...


So, under these circumstances, I normally start with a simple fine-needle aspirate test.


A fine-needle aspirate test is performed usually without anesthesia and is very quick. Your veterinarian takes a few needle samples from the lump (the needle is no larger than the needle used to give vaccines). The sample is smeared on to microscope slides and submitted to the laboratory. It is not always as definitive as a biopsy (this is a full tissue sample), but often it can yield enough information to determine if it is anything to be worried.



Fine-needle aspirate test


That will give you a working idea if there needs to be concern about the lump.

The skin may be a completely benign change, no different than a mole, skin tag, blemish that occurs with time on a person.


Also, I wouldn't be against suggesting you ask your vet for a referral to a veterinary dermatologist for the skin change.


Good Luck

Dr. Andy

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