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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23850
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I think he has a melanoma tumor on his foot. JA: I'm sorry

Customer Question

I think he has a melanoma tumor on his foot.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Brisco and he is going to be 8 next month
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Brisco?
Customer: He is German Shepard / golden retriever mix. I took him to a local vet when it was much smaller and they did a needle biopsy and said it was fungal not a tumor. I can post a picture.
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
I would very much like to see a pic, please. You can upload one by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see the icon) or you can use an external app such as
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Okay I will send ones taken just now
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
Oh my. That certainly isn't fungal. Melanoma is most likely. Aspirating these isn't helpful because a melanoma can't be distinguished from the benign melanocytoma by their cytology. This would need to be biopsied but, frankly, it needs to go and it's likely that an oncologist would recommend amputation of the leg if testing lymph nodes associated with this mass and X-raying Brisco's chest didn't find that melanoma had already mestastasized.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I have to leave my computer for a couple of hours but I promise to reply as soon as I return if need be.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What are the chances it's benign?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What questions should I ask my vet?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
It's possible to be a benign melanocytoma but it has already broken open and once that occurs a tumor can't be addressed in a conservative manner whether it's benign or malignant. It still needs to be removed. There isn't enough tissue left to sew the skin back together after removing such a large mass; hence, amputation would be recommended. You can ask your vet what he/she thinks needs to be done but the proper response is what I've already told you. You have a diffiicult decision to make at this time. I'll be back in a couple of hours. Please be patient.