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Jerry Swetnam
Jerry Swetnam,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10
Experience:  Chief of Staff at Banfield Pet Hospital
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I have a pitbull 8 years old with 4-5 bumps. Took into

Customer Question

Hi - I have a pitbull 8 years old with 4-5 bumps. Took into vet they said it was one of two types of skin cancer...one that was restricted to the skin or one that could get into the liver. They said it was probably the more benign one, they needed to do a surgical biopsy to know for sure.
You look like a traditional medicine vet, do you know of any risk associated with actually doing the biopsy that can accelerate the spread of the cancer? We have two vets and one is vehemently opposed to the biopsy and the other its standard procedure. Any thoughts?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Jerry Swetnam replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, this is Dr. Scott. Tumors in dogs, is unfortunately seen frequently. I can tell you that many times I see tumors I think are benign are not. The best thing to do is to do a excisional biopsy. If done correctly and proper diagnostics done, then the risk of spread is minimum. IHMO, the risk of NOT doing anything would be more. The veterinarian should be able to the tissue at the time of surgery and do their best to get clean margins (free of grossly abnormal tissue). The histopathology report would then tell you 1) the type of tumor 2) opinion on biological nature (ie aggressiveness) 3) was excision complet. Depending on the lab the may give more information or request to do further testing to further define. If the veterinarian thinks it may be a Mast Cell Tumor they should pre-med with diphenylhydramine. They could also remove a lymph node in that area to see if there are any unusual cells. The lymphatic system typically plays a major role in spread.Ultrsounds and radiographs also can look for any possible tumors. If cost is a factor, then a lot of clients wait until the histopathology report comes back. I hope this helps. Good Luck!Dr. Scott
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thx for that! how about timimg...I can get him in now for about $200 more than waiting a week. the bumps have been around for a few months but just started bleeding.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jerry - can you answer my follow up on the timing of that biopsy? I'm waiting for your answer before I make the appointment. Thanks, Matt

Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,I'm Camille, and I’m a moderator for this topic. I sent your requested Expert a message to follow up with you here, when they are back online.
If I can help further, please let me know. Thank you for your continued patience.
Best,
Camille
Expert:  Jerry Swetnam replied 1 year ago.
Biopsy usually take 5-10 business days. It is best to do it early in the week as the histopathologist don't typically work week ends (lucky them!). I have on occassion called after 3 days to get a preliminary report that has not been "entered" yet in their system. Dr. Scott