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  #1  
Old 06-30-2009, 08:44 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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What is this on my dog's paw? With gross pictures!

The pictures make my stomach turn a bit, so they might turn yours too.

This thing is on her front paw and has been for a few weeks. We first noticed it a couple of weeks ago after a walk because she was bleeding. It just looked like a cut, there wasn't really anything there, so we left it to heal on its own.

Today I had her out for a walk and threw the ball. She went after it, skidded a bit, then did the whine and sat down with her paw up. I look, there is blood, and this THING. It's not a pad, she doesn't have anything similar on the other paw. I cleaned it up a bit tonight and moving it around doesn't seem to bother her, but trying to pull on it does (thinking it's something that might come out easily).

Any ideas? It doesn't bother her otherwise and she seems otherwise healthy.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Close up GROSS!
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2009, 08:57 PM
Merneith Merneith is offline
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It's a fast-track ticket to the vet, is what that is. It's probably just an atomic wart but it's growing mighty fast.

Last edited by Merneith; 06-30-2009 at 08:58 PM.. Reason: not quite so final sounding
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:03 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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Are you using atomic as a verb? Ha, I just looked up 'atomic wart', thinking that was the actual name of it.
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:14 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Take dog to vet so they can look at it, poke it, maybe remove it. From what you've said, it's growing up fast... Could be an infection (something lodged there, ruptured hair, some other dermatitis), or it could be some sort of tumor (benign or malignant). Although you should remember it could be something very bad, please take into account that animals get many lumps and bumps, and most of them are not malignant (and even those that are malignant may have relatively good prognosis).

The vet may know more about your dog's age, history, breed (you've given us none), poke it, and maybe find out what it is. Considering it is growing fast, I would strongly consider taking her in. If it is an infection, the dog will benefit from some drugs... If it is some sort of tumor (wart, cyst, cancerous tumor, etc.), the faster dealt with it the better.
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:30 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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Yeah, we'll take her in on Thursday (it's a holiday tomorrow).

She's a seven year old Husky, btw.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:39 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Ah... Then that may lean me more towards "old dog tumors" (but don't tell her I said 'old dog'). Still, it looks as if it could be infected, either as a primary or secondary cause.

Because of my job/training, I get to see skin lumps and bumps from dogs with some frequency. Without poking/slicing them and looking at a slide under a microscope, it is a bit hard for me to say what it is, as many inflammatory things may look like a tumor and viceversa.

And again, even though it may look "Eeew", that doesn't mean the diagnosis will be bad. And also, whether infection or neoplasia, a minor surgery to remove it from the paw may be needed (that way you also get the whole thing out and can submit it to a specialist for diagnosis).
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:41 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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Thanks! I just talked to my husband and we'll take her in to have it removed as soon as possible. Luckily it doesn't seem to be bothering her.
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  #8  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:47 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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You're welcomed. Cool pictures, btw!

Even if nothing is done about it, even if it is a benign tumor that will stop growing and remain there forever doing nothing, it is a good idea to take it to the vet. At the very least, he/she can get a better idea of what it is and have a baseline.
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:56 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Looks like an abscess. Is there anything in there that looks like a foreign body?
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2009, 10:02 PM
Ponch8 Ponch8 is offline
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I'd bet ten-to-one that it's a papilloma (wart). Photo 2 is the most convincing.
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2009, 10:10 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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1. Even if it is a papilloma, it seems to be infected or be prone to injury (remember, Em has seen this area bleed twice). Simple uncomplicated papillomas do not necessarily bleed (unless they get traumatized).

2. As you can see, two people have given you different answers, based on the pictures.

3. My bet is on "benign, but get it checked out in case it is not/get it removed so as to stop injury/treat any infection". As to what flavor of "benign"... Will it really matter, as long as your sweet dog is alright?
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2009, 11:37 AM
Merneith Merneith is offline
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Originally Posted by EmAnJ View Post
Are you using atomic as a verb? Ha, I just looked up 'atomic wart', thinking that was the actual name of it.
Lol - I was using 'atomic' as an adjective for a mushroomy, radioactive-looking thing. Sorry for the confusion and best wishes for your pooch!
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2009, 11:19 PM
Mehitabel Mehitabel is offline
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Well...it's Friday morning...updates on the doggie?
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2009, 12:13 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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She's in to see the vet tomorrow around noon. That's the soonest I could get her in. I'll let you guys know what it is when I know!
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  #15  
Old 07-04-2009, 07:38 PM
Fetchund Fetchund is offline
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Please - an update?
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  #16  
Old 07-05-2009, 08:44 AM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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Well, the vet didn't say what it was but she wants to remove the 'growth' for biopsy. We have to consider our options right now as just that procedure will cost us $1100. We have pet insurance on her but they are great at denying claims (the recently denied our claim for kennel cough that turned into bronchitis). The vet is calling insurance to try and settle the old claim and see if they will cover this one.

I'm sure they won't cover this, so we have to try and find somewhere cheaper. We can't afford $1100 right now, we've already had too many big expenses this year.
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  #17  
Old 07-05-2009, 09:25 AM
Acid Lamp Acid Lamp is offline
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That's an absurd price for removing a tiny little thing like that. I suggest you call up your local humane society and see what they would charge. We got our dogs spayed there and it cost us far, far less than a private practice.
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  #18  
Old 07-05-2009, 09:36 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Originally Posted by Acid Lamp View Post
That's an absurd price for removing a tiny little thing like that. I suggest you call up your local humane society and see what they would charge. We got our dogs spayed there and it cost us far, far less than a private practice.
I suspect a good chunk of that cost is the biopsy.
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  #19  
Old 07-05-2009, 09:38 AM
katie1341 katie1341 is offline
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If there's a vet school nearby, call them. There's a vet school in our town that treats animals cheaper than the vets do.
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  #20  
Old 07-05-2009, 09:50 AM
Acid Lamp Acid Lamp is offline
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Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
I suspect a good chunk of that cost is the biopsy.
Good point, I hadn't thought of that. A biopsy is not strictly necessary though. FWIG, the animal doesn't have any other growths and is otherwise healthy. I know plenty of dogs that had warts or growths removed and the vet took a wait and see approach before performing a lot of expensive tests.
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  #21  
Old 07-05-2009, 09:56 AM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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The high cost is due to anesthesia, the biopsy, blood work, and the use of a laser to cauterize (if needed).

We don't have a vet school here, but we have heard that outlying small community vets charge less, so we are going to look into those.

It is a ridiculous price. When she was coughing two months ago, it cost us $500 for an x-ray and medication to fix her up (steroids, cough suppressant).
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  #22  
Old 07-05-2009, 07:48 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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The prices are probably based on location. I know some vet schools (LSU, for example), are WAAAAAY much more expensive than other surrounding hospitals. The things they do cheaper are some specialty packages and some complicated therapies that would be too costly on a small private practice.

The "wait and see" approach is not SOP, and it would be negligible and open to a suit (yes, veterinarians carry malpractice insurance, but much cheaper than humans). If that works within the framework of "veterinary-client/patient relationship", that's the vet's problem. But you can see why some would CTA. And it could well be that, if according to the vet it looked like the other thousand or so cases of X he/she has seen, he/she may have no desire to remove it, as he/she has a good idea of what it is (granted, it may come back to bite his/her ass). If it didn't look like anything else (benign) that the doc has seen, he/she would certainly want that checked out.

Biopsies are nowhere close to $1100... We're talking about animals here... A simple biopsy at UGA is $45... or at least, we charge the vet $45. If the vet charges $90 JUST for the biopsy, not counting the surgery and anesthesia, it is not the pathologist's fault. And you can see how $45, heck, even $90, is waaaay smaller than $1100.

Another reason why it is expensive is location...
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  #23  
Old 07-05-2009, 08:47 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by KarlGrenze View Post
Another reason why it is expensive is location...
Is the Op located in Scrooge McDuck's vault? Geez.
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  #24  
Old 07-05-2009, 08:50 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
Is the Op located in Scrooge McDuck's vault? Geez.
LOL... I meant location of the mass, sorry... If the mass is in a more delicate place than others, requiring different setup, it can cost more...
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  #25  
Old 07-06-2009, 09:36 AM
Minnie Luna Minnie Luna is offline
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$1100 to remove and biopsy that? There is no way in hell someone should charge that amount for something like that. $500 for x-rays and medication for a bronchial infection?

Where do you live?

There have got to be cheaper veterinarians around, even if you have to drive a bit to find them. Those charges are ridiculous, even for emergency treatment.
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  #26  
Old 07-06-2009, 10:33 AM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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I'm in Calgary, Alberta. It's expensive here, apparently.
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  #27  
Old 07-06-2009, 01:18 PM
romansperson romansperson is offline
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That looks quite a bit like a histiocytoma. We've had two different dogs that got those on their legs (legs and feet, ears and head are apparently popular locations for them). They look a lot like warts, but they can grow fast and can bleed. Thankfully they are benign.

Oddly enough, they can sometimes disappear on their own, too; our vet at the time suggested we watch and wait with our dogs' growths unless they started to bleed. Then it was time to take them off. Both times they did start bleeding, so we did have them removed. And for much, much less than $1,100 - even though it was awhile ago, I find it hard to believe that costs have gone up that much. I hope you can find someone much more reasonably priced to remove it and get a biopsy so you can be sure as to what it is.
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  #28  
Old 07-06-2009, 01:55 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Originally Posted by romansperson View Post
That looks quite a bit like a histiocytoma. We've had two different dogs that got those on their legs (legs and feet, ears and head are apparently popular locations for them). They look a lot like warts, but they can grow fast and can bleed. Thankfully they are benign.
That tumor tends to be more in younger animals...

And I'm wondering... have you asked the vet if they can do a fine needle aspirate (or an impression smear)? Granted, it may not give you a final answer or give you much information in terms of invasiveness and overall nastiness (if there is), but it may steer you into the right path (tumor vs infection, what type of tumor, what type of infection, etc.). It'll probably cost less than the growth removal (much less), and it can give the vet some information they can use to decide treatment.

Which reminds me, that is probably the basis for many "wait and see" approaches people are mentioning here... The vets themselves have done the aspirates in-house (reading some of the common tumors is not that hard), and know what they most likely are. It is not as if they out of nowhere said "It is X, we will wait and see", but rather that they poked it first, saw the cells, and then and said "It is X, and this most likely will not be a big deal."
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  #29  
Old 07-06-2009, 02:20 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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I had a dog with a tumor about 7 years ago. The biopsy cost nowhere near $1100 then, maybe it was $250. Her tumor turned out to be a very rare type, hemangiopericytoma. She had surgery to take it out and I think the entire surgery only cost about $1500.
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  #30  
Old 07-06-2009, 02:25 PM
romansperson romansperson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze View Post
That tumor tends to be more in younger animals...

One of our dogs was 7 and the other 10 when they got theirs. So MMV.
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  #31  
Old 07-06-2009, 03:28 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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I think some may be getting a bit confused. The $1100 is for removal, stitches, anesthetic, biopsy, blood work and laser cauterizing (if needed), not JUST the biopsy. It's removal and biopsy.

Anyhow, we have a friend who was a vet assistant in a small town about 5 hours from here. She is heading there this Friday and we may get her to take the dog with her and get it done there. She's estimating the cost to be under $500. I hope it works out.
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  #32  
Old 07-06-2009, 03:32 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Our local vet school, NC State, has one of the few animal MRIs in the world. I used it for my dog and I think that cost about $500. There is one in DC and one near SF in CA.
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