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Dr-Bonk
Dr-Bonk, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 210
Experience:  Five years as a veterinarian working with man's best friend. Have worked with pets, hunting and herding dogs, hounds, and breeders.
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My 3 1/2 year old great dane developed a lump on the right

Customer Question

My 3 1/2 year old great dane developed a lump on the right side of his nose ( maxillary area). When we looked at his gum, there was a growth in the area. My dog is acting fine and eating. We took him to the vet as we were worried that this could be an osteosarcoma. He took an X-ray and it did not look like bone was involved. They wanted to take him to the OR but we told them to hold off ( sounded quite invasive). We went home with antibiotics and antiinflammatories. Now a week later maybe slightly smaller, definitely has not gotten worse. He is not bothered by it, can touch it etc. All along he has been eating and acting normal. Any suggestions?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your dog?
Customer: Don't think so. my husband said X-ray just looked like a soft tissue mass. His tooth right below, has a little brown spot at the base. mass is red tissue but doesn't look inflamed.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr-Bonk replied 8 months ago.

Hi, I'm Dr. Bonk. I'm sorry to hear about your dog's troubles. Thank goodness there is no bony involvement! Did the vet aspirate the lump (draw a sample out with a needle) and examine it under the microscope? This would give an idea of what cells were involved.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No, he didn't. My husband said they wanted to excise the whole mass for margins and send it to pathology , which I didn't understand why they couldn't do an FNA or a core biopsy. It just sounded too invasive and my husband thought excising a large mass would leave a huge defect and require reconstruction. We wouldn't want to put the dog through that. We decided that either way as time passes, we would know. We wouldn't do chemo etc if it was cancerous anyway. I just wonder if you have any other potential diagnosis?. Could it be related to his tooth? I would think if it was infectious, he would be feeling well or am I wrong?
Expert:  Dr-Bonk replied 8 months ago.

I absolutely understand not wanting to put him through that, that is why an FNA is so great, you get a lot of information without being invasive. It could definitely be related to the tooth. Oftentimes with a tooth root abscess, the tooth will have no outward signs of a problem. At this point it could also be scar tissue left behind from an insult, that would be why it isn't inflammed.

Dogs also can produce what are called granulomas which are basically an accumulation of WBCs in the tissue, not quite like an abscess. What happens with granulomas is the body over reacts to an insult and pours all of these inflammatory cells into one spot. The cells then become kind of trapped there with nothing really to work on. Granulomas are not a problem unless the dog starts to bother with them, excessively licking or scratching them.

You are absolutely right, if it were infectious, he would be showing other signs such as inappetance, lethargy, or possibly a fever.

The fact that is has shrunk a little is a good sign too. Active tumors don't shrink. Based on what you have told me, you should feel comfortable watching this lump. If it grows, changes shape or color, or he becomes painful or otherwise ill with it, then get it rechecked.

I hope this helps. Please contact me with any further questions you may have. Thank you and good luck!

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Appreciate your input.
Expert:  Dr-Bonk replied 8 months ago.

You're welcome.