Fibrous Tumor on Tail

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


All legs and no- tail
Barked: Tue Aug 17, '10 6:48am PST 
Miles (the resident Basset) is going in next week (or possibly sooner if I have my pleas answered) to have a tumor on his tail removed. It's just about an inch or so above the base, and located on his right side. I took him in to have it looked at yesterday and my vet was visibly worried about it. It was found just over a week ago and the vet said then to watch it. Since then, it's grown about 50% and became scabby, though Miles has not been chewing on it. The vet tried to aspirate it with two needles (18 and 22 gauge), but it had no fluid and was, as he put it, "fibrous and solid" in nature. He gave two options: biopsy it and wait for results or schedule a removal and biopsy it then. We opted for the removal. What worries me is my vet took the same tone with this as he did when he first saw Gunner's mast cell tumor, which leads me to believe he thinks it's potentially serious. He would not have recommended biopsy and removal if he wasn't concerned, either.

On top of this, Miles' skin problems are at their peak. His coat is coarse and brittle, which is a complete change from what it used to be. He's going bald on his stomach and all of his visible skin is red and irritated. He spends a lot of time scratching and chewing himself. He's been tested for hypothyroidism, been given a couple rounds of prednisone, received multiple hydrocortisone shots, and is on a high dose of fish oil (4000 mg daily), but with no improvement. He has always been a scratchy dog, but he's never been this bad. We were going to do a scrape to rule out mange and save up the money to have an allergy test done, but this tail tumor became the immediate concern.

I guess my question is, what kind of tumor is common on the tail and could there be any connection to his other problems? My vet was hoping it was a cyst or abscess, but after the attempted aspiration, is leaning towards a tumor of some kind. My mind immediately jumps to the worst possible outcome and waiting until next Thursday for the surgery is going to make me more nervous as time passes.

Edited by author Tue Aug 17, '10 6:49am PST

Savannah Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
Barked: Tue Aug 17, '10 6:56am PST 
Oh, our thoughts are with you. Hoping this will all be ok.

I haven't read posts by you before...What do your pups eat?

(Savvy had bad skin issues, and we resolved them by going raw)

But first things first - we are sending you some pop for your baby and hoping for the best.
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Tue Aug 17, '10 8:15am PST 
So an aspirate was taken right?

OK for tail tumors I usually think along the lines of...
Skin Tumor overview
(not necc in this order)
1) Mast Cell Tumors Mast Cell Tumors
2) Round Cell Tumors
3) Basal Cell Tumors (usually hairless and round) --> Basal Cell Tumors
4) Sebaceous Gland Tumors
5) Lipoma (benign) Lipoma's although somewhat unlikely if it was reported fiborous...

This is a really good article about what having a mass means for your pet and an explanation of the malignant and benign options...obviously the only way to know what it is is to take a biopsy or asprite which you have already done. Sometimes freaking out before you get results only makes things worse so be careful with too much information. tail tumors tend to be pretty OK cause the chance of them spreading is low and often times they can be removed successfully with a small tail dock which in the grand scheme of things is pretty low risk surgery for infection etc.


Roxy - aka Bob
Barked: Tue Aug 17, '10 10:53am PST 
From your description of his skin issues I would consider having him tested for Cushings disease. Its possible that the lesion on his tail is a calcinosis cutis lesion. CC is very indicative of Cushings as is hair loss on the abdomen, changes in coat and overall poor skin condition. Your vet is right, have it removed and looked at by a histopathologist to determine exactly what it is. Any growth that grows that fast needs to be removed and sent in for histopathology.

Does your dog have a pot belly or skin like tissue paper? By pot belly I don't mean fat, I mean does he appear bloated? These are other symptoms of Cushing's Disease. This disease shows up quite frequently in Bassett Hounds.

Edited by author Tue Aug 17, '10 10:58am PST

Tucker, CGC,- TDI

Bloggin' Dog
Barked: Tue Aug 17, '10 11:06am PST 
Gunner, so sorry to hear this about Miles. Will be keeping paws crossed and hoping for a good report. Keep us updated.wishes

All legs and no- tail
Barked: Tue Aug 17, '10 5:42pm PST 
The boys eat a grain free rotation diet. Right now they're on Taste of the Wild High Prairie formula, but they're usually on Nature's Variety Instinct, Wellness Core or Solid Gold Barking at the Moon. I honestly don't think his main problem is a food allergy based on the way his issues have progressed. This year his irritation has just exploded, part of which may just be due to us having an extremely hot summer. They do seem to get better in the winter, but I don't know if that'll be the case this year, as his symptoms are so different.

Leah, he's having an aspiration and full blood panel done tomorrow and we should have the results of those by Saturday. My vet said he hopes it's a histiocytoma, as that would be the best possible scenario, but he definitely sounds wary to believe it is, based on how it's grown. Originally, we thought it was a sebaceous cyst, as Wiggles had one on his tail, but after examining, that's not what it is. I doubt it is a lipoma as it's very dense and solid and nothing like the one Gunner had. Personally, having been through a mast cell tumor with Gunner, I will keep hoping that's the worst it'll be. I'm doing my best to sit back and wait because at least we'll have preliminary results by Saturday. I'm definitely curious to see what his CBC shows, too.