Many a veterinarian has said that if a mass is worth taking off, then it is worth sending it to the pathologist for a definitive diagnosis. A biopsy report is written by a board-certified veterinary pathology specialist who looks at the tissues under a microscope and describes the changes observed. The report is then used by your veterinarian to formulate a treatment plan for your pet. which may involve surgery and medical treatment.
Your veterinarian may perform the biopsy under general anesthesia or with sedation and a local block. Biopsies may be incisional, where a portion of the mass is removed for examination, or excisional where the entire mass is removed. The decision on whether to biopsy part or whole of a mass depends on its location, ease of removal, and if other nearby structures may be involved.
A biopsy report finding normal tissue may be frustrating for trying to achieve a diagnosis, but it usually rules out a serious problem if the tissue submitted is a representative sample. Biopsy can always be repeated if the mass changes over time. A favorable biopsy report can provide great peace of mind for your pet’s future wellbeing.
Like all diagnostic tests, biopsies and pathologic examinations are important tools to assess your pet’s health. Removal of suspicious masses is recommended, and the additional knowledge gained from the biopsy report gives you the most information to decide treatment options. Your veterinarian who has examined your pet is always your best source of medical advice.