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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5542
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My dog has a growth on the palmer aspect between the 4th and

Customer Question

My dog has a growth on the palmer aspect between the 4th and 5th digit of front left paw. Fine needle aspiration was inconclusive with a few mast cells possibly from the inflammation and mesenchymal cells that could be benign or malignant. Until a few days ago my dog would not stop licking the paw and for the last three weeks has worn the cone if shame. He has had a mast cell tumor on another leg which was removed and treated with radiation. I was going to,opt for surgery which would include one non weight bearing toe being removed, since he was relentless about licking it. Now I feel I could have a punch biopsy done and if it is not malignant leave it alone or if he begins the cycle of licking or it is malignant have the surgery. I hate to put him through any unnecessary procedures. Curious about the punch, which will be a very small one and the healing time for that. I also wanted to confirm it is sedation vs full anasthesia to do the punch biopsy. Any additional thoughts or recommendations are appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I can help you with your question today.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

Is he still licking at the lump now?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has not for the last 48 hours. I have him scheduled for the surgery on Wednesday and need to decide by Monday morning if I want to cxl and do the punch biopsy or go with the surgery
Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

OK, just a few minutes and I'll be back with you.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

All right! So, since he has stopped licking at the lump, I do think it is reasonable to go forward with the punch biopsy alone. Of course, if we diagnose a malignant tumor, we will recommend a second surgery to remove the entire growth (and likely amputate the toe). As long as you aren't concerned about a second episode of anesthesia or the cost, I think a punch bx is a great option here.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

To answer your questions, I expect that a small punch would heal within the typical 10-14 day time period. Paws can be somewhat unpredictable though - because of the weight bearing, it can be a slower healing time. Also, if he manages to lick the incision site, this could also dramatically slow healing.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

With regard to sedation vs full anesthesia - this is going to be up to the discretion of the vet performing the procedure. I personally would feel comfortable doing a quick punch with sedation alone.