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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14833
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog was diagnosed with a possible granuloma on her right

Customer Question

my dog was diagnosed with a possible granuloma on her right caudal lung lobe. she needs a tracheal wash to determine what it is. she is only 2 years old. he said because of the part of the country we live in he doubts its fungal. is there any way this can be removed with surgery and she may live a normal life?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to see that you have been waiting a while for a response but I suspect that is because your question is more complicated than you think.

A granuloma is a generic term for an area of walled off inflammation/tissue damage. The cause can be varied, including anything from a bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection to a walled off foreign body (think plant seed, grass awn, inhaled food particle), or a calcified blood clot secondary to trauma (being hit by a car, a hard fall). Lung lobe torsion can lead to a lung collapsing and granuloma formation. It is possible that this could be a tumor too, but that seems less likely in a 2 year old dog.

Until we know what caused the granuloma it is hard to say whether or not it should be removed.

How was this discovered?

What sort of symptoms has she had?

Things that can help us decide what it may be include:

1) Has she had a fever or an elevated temperature? If so that would point toward an infection.

2) Is she negative for heartworms and lungworms? If she hasn't been tested she should be.

3) Is the nodule changing in size and shape with time?

4) How does your girl feel? If she seems to feel great otherwise, doesn't have a fever or any other symptoms, and the mass isn't changing in size this may be scar tissue. In which case she could live with this just fine.

5) I understand that fungal infections may not be common where you live, but probably neither are lung granulomas so a blood fungal titer test might be worth doing.

6) A tracheal wash can help if we get any cells from the granuloma, but depending upon its location and how easily cells exfoliate (break off from it) this may or may not point toward a diagnosis.

7) Has she has a complete blood count (CBC) and if so were her white blood cells increased in number? Was one type higher than usual? Allergic or parasitic granulomas may cause high numbers of a particular white blood cell called an eosinophil, whereas bacteria or general inflammation can cause an increase in the number of neutrophils.

It is often possible to surgically remove a granuloma. Depending upon its location the entire lung lobe, or just a section, would need to be removed. She would need specialized 24 care after surgery as she probably would need a drainage tube post-operatively and it can be a delicate surgery, so is often best done at a specialty clinic.

It is possible if she is feeling fine other wise that nothing other than close observation need be done. This may be an old, quiescent lesion that doesn't need to be addressed.

I understand that you may have been looking for more of an absolute answer, but truthfully we can't give you one without knowing more. Hopefully I have given you direction about ways to get a more definitive answer.