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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15596
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I have a 12 year old dog with a ulcerated skin tumor that is

Customer Question

I have a 12 year old dog with a ulcerated skin tumor that is expected to be cancer. Obviously not 100% sure unless he has surgery. We have had him home for the last few days trying to decide if the surgery is affordable for us. The tumor is still bleeding/oozing a black substance. Unable to reach the vet right now. How often is surgery a cure? How often has this usually spread to other parts of the body?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Expert will know what to do about this bleeding. I'll connect you ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: This started out as a black mole, we discovered another mole a couple days ago. Dog has a lot of nervous energy and has been eating any food on the counter.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. My name is Rebecca; I am a veterinarian. Please give me a moment to type my answer.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 month ago.

I am sorry to hear your dog has this ulcerated tumor that may be cancer. The only way to know if surgery will be a cure, or if there is another treatment, is to find out what this is.

Before doing surgery, I would do FNA (fine needle aspiration) or an "impression smear" of the tumor. This will get cells to be examined under the microscope, and should tell us not just if it is cancer, but what kind. Different kinds of cancer behave differently. For instance, a sarcoma almost always comes back after surgical removal. A mast cell tumor can be cured by completely removing it, if you get it all. A skin melanoma is usually cured by surgical removal.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The tumor is on his side, would this make a difference on what type of cancer it is likely to be? Would the "impression smear" do the same thing? I would like to know what we are dealing with before I agree to surgery. Also, is the drainage just blood or probably infection? It is black/brown in color.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 month ago.

No, it could be any of the ones I mentioned, or other types of tumors.

An impression smear is completely noninvasive; we press a glass slide on the ulcerated area and then look under the microscope. FNA is only slightly more; we use a tiny sterile needle to get cells from inside the tumor.

The drainage could be blood, infection, cystic fluid. Again, looking at a sample of the fluid under a microscope should tell us what it is.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 month ago.

Please let me know how he is doing, and if my answer was helpful!