Cost of Needle Aspiration in Dogs
The cost of needle aspiration in dogs will vary depending on standards of living and additional treatment and diagnostic costs incurred. 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.
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Needle aspiration is not recommended for dogs that have oral lesions or masses, since general anesthesia or sedation will be required to obtain a cell sample. In dogs with dermatological masses, all masses should be evaluated using fine needle aspiration. Sometimes, some skin masses can be benign while others are cancerous.
There are very few complications associated with needle aspiration. The main concern is misdiagnosis. However, misdiagnosis is incredibly rare, particularly if the pathologist and veterinarian are highly skilled. If the appearance of the aspirated mass changes significantly after aspiration, re-aspiration may be required.
Many conditions diagnosed by fine needle aspiration are difficult to prevent. Owners should make sure their dogs attend regular veterinary checkups so that underlying conditions can be diagnosed and treated quickly.
Efficacy of Needle Aspiration in Dogs
Fine needle aspiration is one of the most effective diagnostic and biopsy methods available today. It is also one of the least invasive diagnostic procedures, and causes virtually no pain for pets. In fact, the needle used for aspiration is typically thinner than needles used for vaccination. However, fine needle aspiration is not 100% effective. The effectiveness of needle aspiration ranges from 90.9% to 97.9%. The effectiveness of fine needle aspiration biopsy is 70% to 80%.
There is a chance that diseased cells will not be collected through fine needle aspiration. This applies particularly to certain types of cancer cells. While fine needle aspiration may help confirm some forms of cancer, other types of cancer cells – notably sarcomas – are more difficult to collect. This occurs because sarcoma cells do not easily exfoliate, or separate from the mass. Tissue biopsy is recommended to confirm a diagnosis of cancer.
Because it is a diagnostic procedure, dogs will not need to recover from fine needle aspiration. The veterinarian will contact the owner when the histology results come in – usually within one to two days – to determine the best course of treatment. If owners notice any changes in mass size or appearance, they should contact their veterinarian right away.
Read Chapter 9 and Listen to This Webinar
This is such a tricky area that Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger dedicated an entire chapter (chapter 9) of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide to the subject. Dr. Dressler also addresses this topic in several of his Ask Dr. Dressler webinars, including one called 19 Most Common Mistakes We Make When Dealing with Dog Cancer. (Both the book and access to webinar recordings come in The Dog Cancer Kit.)
How To Tell If Your Dog’s Lump Is Cancer
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.