A tail lump in an old Miniature Schnauzer - what to do?
When faced with a skin lump, veterinary opinions differ. Some vets will advise "wait and see", prescribing some antibiotics. I will advise excision as it may or may not be cancerous. It will be up to the owner to make the final decision.
The vet should NOT advise "wait and see". Give the owner the option to excise or not to do it as the lump may be pre-cancerous or cancerous.
In this case, the old dog had a circular skin lump 8 mm x 8 mm x 3 mm. It looked very much like a ringworm. Dr Daniel said it could possibly by a result of licking or biting as the old dog had anal sacculitis, with thick brown oil expressed by me earlier.
I advise the owner to get the lump taken out by excision with a 1-cm resection margin ideally. A 1-cm skin margin would permit any present cancerous cells, if any, be removed, leaving little chance of recurrence.
This was not possible as there was insufficient skin and the tail would have to be taken out. The owner wanted to keep the tail stump. She gave informed consent to excise the lump without the margin. Histology was approved.
Dr Daniel operated. The lump was not cancerous based on histology. Dr Daniel's opinion was that this could be due to the dog's anal sacculitis itchiness and licking and that the lump could be inflammatory.
In an old dog, it is best NOT to wait and see. If the dog's lump is cancerous or turn cancerous later, there will be no good words for the vet's competence from family members.
In this case, the skin lump was not cancerous. Everybody is happy. This could be a case of tail gland tumour based on its location. I had seen one in a Siberian Husky some years ago.