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Cocoa’s scary news

Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Cocoa had developed a large, suspicious looking node on one of her back legs. The nodule grew very¬† quickly and felt very strange leading Cocoa’s guardians to decide to bring her into the clinic.

After some clinical evaluation Cocoa seemed to be completely healthy, with the exception of the lump. We often see older dogs with lumps which are benign (lipomas), this one however felt odd and needed further examination. We did a fine needle aspiration and discovered some cells that shoudl not be in a nodule like this. The cells resembled mastocytes, meaning Cocoa’s nodule was in fact a tumor called mastocytoma.

Typically, these nodules need further identification for malignancy and metastasis, something that
is beyond the scope of this clinic. We decided to remove the nodule. The surgery was a success and Cocoa woke up well.

In a case such as this, the post operation period is the most important one; Cocoa needs to be monitored well for symptoms, residual cells (new growth in nodule area), metastasis, and healing of the wound. Cocoa’s first visit back was promising!!! Cocoa seemed to be healing well. Let us hope he will stay healthy in the future.

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