How much does a vet charge for needle aspiration?
Fine needle aspiration is typically an inexpensive procedure which ranges in cost from $25 to $200. These costs may or may not include laboratory fees.
What’s a Dog Fine Needle Aspiration?
So you found a suspicious lump on your dog, and now your vet is saying he will need a dog fine needle aspiration (FNA). You may be wondering what a fine needle aspiration is and what exactly it entails. My female Rottweiler had one done just last year because of a small lump in her paw.
If your dog has a lump that needs to be checked out, its always good to be prepared in advance so you know what questions to ask your vet and so you can make the most appropriate decisions which are often needed to be made on the spot. In most cases, a fine needle aspiration is a very important procedure that will help your vet determine if that lump is something to worry about or not.
The truth is, in most cases, your vet cannot tell from visual inspection alone if a lump, bump, or mole is benign or malignant. Its always best to play it safe and rule out cancerous growths, especially since there are certain forms of cancer that are known for being great imitators, meaning that they look like innocent and benign growths when they are not.
What is a fatty tumor (lipoma)?
Lipomas, also known as adipose tissue tumors, arise from fat deposits that grow at a different rate from the surrounding fat, leading to the formation of a lump below the skin of dogs (humans get them, too). The pronounced lump often feels soft and moveable, and is usually not attached to the muscle below. The tumor is usually well-encapsulated, meaning it has a defined border, which makes it easy to remove surgically, if needed.
Lipomas are usually harmless, but in certain locations — such as under the armpit or in the groin — they can limit mobility. The majority are benign, meaning they’re not cancerous and will not spread (or metastasize) throughout the body in the way malignant tumors can. However, some dogs will form multiple lipomas in various locations on their body throughout their life.
There is also a more aggressive form of lipoma, called an infiltrative lipoma. This type of growth is still benign but has less defined borders and is more difficult to remove surgically.
Note: “Lipoma” sounds very similar to, but is not the same as, lymphoma in dogs, which refers to a very aggressive form of cancer in the lymph nodes.
In very rare cases, a fatty tumor is actually a malignant growth called a liposarcoma. This type of cancerous mass develops from fat cells, grows quickly, is very locally invasive, but will rarely metastasize (or spread) to other areas of the body.
Liposarcomas require aggressive surgery to remove. Unfortunately, depending on the tumor’s size, location, and invasiveness, it may not be possible to remove it entirely. For these cases, follow-up therapy, such as radiation, is recommended.
Needle Aspirates and a Big Lump
If you notice a lump has appeared overnight on your dog’s neck, chest, leg, or back, don’t panic. Many pet parents will fear their dog has cancer, but before you jump to the worst-case scenario, schedule an appointment with your vet to evaluate the lump. It may be a lipoma.
A lipoma is a common type of tumor that affects approximately 16% of dogs1. Though the word “tumor” may sound frightening, it’s important to know that these abnormal growths are benign fat build-ups and typically harmless.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about canine lipomas, removal costs, treatment methods, and more.
Pro Tip: Not sure whether you should take your dog to the vet to get a lump checked out? With pet insurance, you can worry less about the cost of vet visits with peace of mind knowing that you’ll be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses spent on covered medical conditions.