Biopsy in Dogs

Biopsy is the term used to describe the procedure in which a sample of a dog’s tissue is taken for microscopic analysis. This procedure is generally invasive, requiring general anesthesia.

Depending on the organ or tissue to be biopsied, various techniques may be used. If a small piece of tissue is all that is needed, an “incisional biopsy” can be performed. In some situations, whole tumors may be removed and submitted, referred to as an “excisional biopsy”.

When a tumor is removed, the outer margins of the tissue that has been surgically removed should be evaluated microscopically to determine if the entire mass was successfully removed.

The biopsy results will tell what type of tumor or disease process is occurring and help the veterinarian decide what therapy is best for your pet.

Veterinary Care for Dogs Undergoing Biopsy

Anytime a dog is ill, the veterinarian will ask many questions to develop a complete history of the progression of the problem. These questions will include your pet’s age, when the problem began, how the problem has progressed over time and what treatments you have tried and with what results.

After obtaining a complete history, the veterinarian will likely perform a complete physical examination of your pet, including checking for a fever, palpating (feeling) your pet’s abdomen and listening to his heart and lungs.

Different Tests to Perform Biopsies on Dogs

Biopsy Techniques for Dogs

Depending on the organ that needs to be biopsied, there are a variety of ways to perform the biopsy.

Home Care for Dogs After Biopsies

After a biopsy, the pet should be rested and restricted from activity for about 1-2 weeks to allow the biopsy site to heal. If your pet licks or chews at his incision, an Elizabethan collar may be necessary to keep him from opening or infecting the incision.

Biopsy results are typically available within about one week. Based on the findings, treatment recommendations or additional tests may be suggested.