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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My dog has a white mole that appears to be growing on her neck.

Resolved Question:

My dog has a white mole that appears to be growing on her neck. At first I thought it was a tick when it was smaller. It's now the size of pea and appears to be getting larger. It just appeared this summer and she's six years old. Interestingly enough, her brother (same mother, different litter) has the same growth in the same place that developed a few years ago. Her owner told me that they had it checked out and it was just a "mole"
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. K replied 6 years ago.

Dr. K :

Does this white "mole" have any hair on it?

Dr. K :

Is it soft when you press it?

Dr. K :

Does it seem to bother her at all?

Dr. K :

Does she try to scratch at it?

Dr. K :

Does it ever bleed or ooze any liquid?

Customer:

No hair on it, just around it.

Customer:

It does bother her when I look at it. It doesn't bleed or ooze any fluid. It feels hard when touched.

Dr. K :

Unfortunately, there is no way to know what a lump is definitively, unless it is removed surgically and sent in for biopsy. One way to try to find out is by doing a test called a fine needle aspirate. During this test, the vet places a needle inside the mass and pulls out some of the cells and other materials inside. This is then sprayed and smeared on a glass slide and is stained for viewing under a microscope. A pathologist can tell what a lump is 50% of the time with this test. The major benefit of this test is that it may give you an answer without having to put your dog under anesthesia.

Dr. K :

In many cases, these white growths are cysts. These are fluid-filled little sacs that tend to form and get larger. The vet will know if it is a cyst right away when they put the needle in for aspiration, as it will deflate like a little baloon and all the fluid will be sucked out.

Dr. K :

Unfortunately, it will just grow back. To stop a cyst from returning, it must be completely surgically removed.

Customer:

should I be concerned if it continues to grow? should I watch for anything else? Unfortunately, I don't have the $$$ for this procedure at the vet.

Dr. K :

Most people opt to surgically remove the lumps, even when benign, because this will give a definitive diagnosis, and the lump will then be gone if it is malignant (cancerous). Furthermore, many benign lumps do continue to get bigger and this can be cumbersome, unsightly, and sometimes uncomfortable for the dog.

Dr. K :

You should already be a little concerned, because it is getting larger.

Dr. K :

The procedure I mentioned above, only costs about $35 to $ 45. It is the surgery that would be more costly.

Customer:

So no lab costs for sending the fluid to pathologist?

Dr. K :

If it is a cyst...no. Then, they would likely only charge about $25 to have aspirated it. If it is not a cyst, then the charge for aspiration and cytology analysis at the lab is usually about $35-$60....depending on your geographical location. These things tend to cost more in urban areas, than in rural.

Dr. K :

I need to step out for just a minute....I will be right back. :)

Customer:

Thank you for your time and help. I'll make an appointment and ask specifically for this procedure.

Dr. K :

I am back if you should need any other help with this.

Dr. K :

Hello? I saw that you tried to enter the chat again. I hope that you are not having any trouble getting back on if you need to.

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