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Ask Dr. Altman Your Own Question
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12605
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My almost 9 year old golden retriever (female) has a pink

Customer Question

My almost 9 year old golden retriever (female) has a pink bump on her muzzle. It's on top of the skin and hairless. And was not there a few days ago. The inside of her mouth is fine and it is on top of her skin not underneath.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today!

So sorry to hear that Lilly has this lump. I am happy to review a photo with the paperclip on your screen to download but I am always concerned about a hairless raised lump in the breed as they are at higher risk for mast cell tumors so I would strongly urge a veterinary exam and aspiration or "poke" with a needle to evaluate the cells and ensure it is nothing to be concerned with

This is really the only way to differentiate the concerning from the non concerning lumps definitively because a cancerous versus a noncancerous lump can appear identical on presentation

Evaluation under the microscope will be looking at the lump at a cellular level. Do the cells look normal, is it sebaceous or oil material that is benign or even fatty material indicating a lipoma or are the cells abnormal in appearance? This information is critical in order to diagnose the lump origin and whether it should be removed sooner versus later

Some tell tale signs that a lump might be more of a concern include whether it is rapidly growing, it is bothersome (scratching, licking), it is not easily picked up from the underlying tissue indicating it is attached to the muscle layer. This can be helpful but not 100 % definitive as a fine needle aspiration would be

I always advise photographing the lump with a ruler or coin next to the lump to measure the size weekly or in dark skinned dogs where it is not as readily viewable measuring with a ruler on a regular basis

Please let me know how else I can assist you both today. I am online another 15 minutes to answer additional questions

If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION at the top of your screen (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I attached two pics. She hd a mast cell tumor removed from her shoulder that was under the skin and attached to her muscle a year ago. They were able to get clear margins and a clean bill. This is completely different. The mast cell tumor she had before was under her skin. This is an outward growth.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it's not bothersome to her. My hubby and her are inseparable and after a weekend away he noticed it tonight.
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the photos. Although it doesn't look like a typical mast cell tumor, these are called the "tumors of many faces" because they can really present in any way. I have had some that I really did expect to be nothing at all or benign and low and behold with aspiration it was a mast cell tumor.

The fact that she has had one before makes me concerned as well. The primary mast cell tumors I see are hairless and raised from the skin not within the skin but I definitely see both varieties.

I would definitely retake the photo with a ruler next to it as comparison but would strongly urge an aspiration. Especially in this location where margins would be a challenge.

It most likely is just a cyst but aspiration would bring piece of mind and lessen the worry this should be removed asap

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

I am going to be signing off for the night but will check in tomorrow to see if you have responded in any way with additional questions or concerns. Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Good morning, I wanted to check in to see if you were able to get to your veterinarian today? I would love an update when you are able...

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today