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Painless, red lump on right rear "heel" of 6 month old

Painless, red lump on...

Painless, red lump on right rear "heel" of 6 month old ***** ***** female puppy. Mobile, not fixed to underlying tissue. Does not affect gait. Otherwise healthy animal, active, mobile, good appetite.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the jack?

No.She is a little terror, very active, great appetite.

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Answered in 17 minutes by:
9/18/2017
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,820
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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I understand that you are concerned about a red, painless, growing growth on your pup's right rear heel.

A likely cause for the growth you are describing in a young dog is a benign growth called a histiocytoma. These growths pop up quickly, grow quickly for a month or so and then tend to regress and slowly resolve on their own within 2 to 3 months. They are most common in young dogs on the face, ears and legs and paws. But older dogs can get them too and if they scratch them they may not resolve.

If the dog rubs them or scratches they will hang around longer or can get infected. You can use a drop of cortisone cream on it to reduce inflammation. If they are scratched open I would recommend an antibacterial ointment instead, like Polysporin.

And if she is licking I would recommend an E-collar (elizabethan collar, cone of shame) for him to try and stop her from irritating it any more and possibly getting the bump infected.

If the bump doesn't resolve completely in 3 months it should be surgically removed as it is unlikely to go away on its own at that point and can lead to a secondary infection.

Another possibility is a tumor called a mast cell tumor. But this is less likely given how young she is. These have variable degrees of malignancy, some can be treated with just surgical removal, some are quite aggressive and will spread deep into tissue and to local lymph nodes. The only way to know for sure how malignant the tumor is is to remove it and have it biopsied.

There are other tumors that this may be, but they are very, very unlikely given her age, and they include a basal cell tumor (these are much less common in dogs than in people) or an amelanotic melanoma. Melanomas tend to be fairly benign behaving in the skin and respond to surgical removal. A plasma cell tumor is another possibility, but again less likely given her age.

Of these tumors none resolve completely on their own except a histiocytoma. Mast cell tumors will change in size if they are bumped, and then go down slightly in size but never fully resolve on their own.

If you want to be absolutely certain of a diagnosis your veterinarian can perform a fine needle aspirate on the bump. It sounds big enough to do so now. He or she puts a tiny needle in the bump, draws cells out, and looks at the cells under the microscope to identify them. That way you can feel more comfortable with the assurance that this isn't something to worry about.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Here are two links to "classic" looking histiocytomas for comparison: http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/derm/Home/HISTIOCYT/image/cch/hist2.jpg

http://todaysveterinarypractice.navc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/T1601F02_Fig13.jpg

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,820
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified
Dr. Kara and 87 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
thank you for your timely response. My major concern of course was a Mast Cell tumor and I couldn't find anything on age distribution. Your response has given me some peace of mind. I have an appointment with my Vet on Friday, the earliest I can get in. Incidentally, I am a surgeon (Otolaryngology), myself but find it difficult to be objective about my dogs.

I understand completely, objectivity kind of goes out the window when it is one of our own!

He would be a very rare case for a mast cell tumor, he is much too young. I'm glad that he will be examined, but I would bet this is a histiocytoma.

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