Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?

Turns out, we did.  Blue, the lumpiest of greyhounds ever, turned up recently with a brand new bump on the inside of his left thigh.  It started out looking like a red spot, then rose a little bit until it looked like a bug bite.  It went from bug bite to zit and finally to a dime sized mountain with a red dot in the center. 

Meet Blue's Histiocytoma
Meet Blue's Histiocytoma.  It was well into dime sized mountain
phase in this photo.
For those of you who don’t already know, Blue gets hemangiomas.  These are like blood blisters that randomly turn up on various parts of his body.  They look like a dark spot in a place it wasn’t before.  They swell up a bit and are clearly full of blood.  Eventually, if not aided earlier, they pop.  The spot heals up and everyone moves on.  We went so far as having a couple of them removed and sent for review by the pathologists.  Hemangiomas, while having a super scary name, are not cancerous. 

I spent the red spot, raised bug bite, zit and dime sized mountain phases of this latest bump praying it was just a hemangioma that didn’t get the memo about how those are supposed to look.  But at dime sized mountain, I couldn’t hang out in denial any longer.  I made an appointment with Dr. Amy.

Blue has warts and cysts in various places but this bump looked and felt nothing like those.  And the speed of its growth and change was so fast the big “C” word was knocking at the door to the room which holds my panic button.  Every time I find a new bump on Blue and have Dr. Amy examine it, she tells me the most
Crandall's Button Tumor
Crandall's Button Tumor.  (Excuse the ancient iPhone fuzzy photo)
concerning thing about a bump is if it changes appearance.  Blue’s bump was changing like a mother.

Dr. Amy took a look at our bump one Saturday morning and asked to do an aspiration of it which we immediately agreed to.  Well, I immediately agreed to it, I don’t know that Blue was that excited about it, but he tolerated it like a trooper.  Dr. Amy took a look at the cells she found and was back shortly with the news.

Blue’s strange new bump was a histiocytoma, also known as a button tumor.  We were given the good news that we had dodged the bullet again as these are not cancerous.  The term histiocytoma was not unknown to us because a number of months ago, Grammy’s hound Crandall had one on his front foot. Crandall’s looked like a textbook button tumor.  Blue’s was not quite as textbook but Dr. Amy said there was no mistaking the unique cell structure which she found in the aspirate.
Blue greyhound and histiocytoma
DO NOT ask me how close to Blue's business end I had to get
for this photo.  

According to the Veterinary Partners article that Dr. Amy gave us on button tumors, they typically strike young dogs (2 years old or younger).  In both Blue and Crandall’s case, they were well over that age.  Generally histiocytomas form on the front half of the body.  In Crandall’s case this was true.  In Blue’s case, it was not.  Histiocytomas can look like other skin problems that are cancerous (such as melanoma) so it is always a good idea to have it checked.

And just like the article said, histiocytomas typically resolve themselves without the need for intervention.  Crandall’s tumor had completely disappeared within a couple weeks of his visit to Dr. Amy and true to form Blue’s disappeared in roughly the same time frame.  You would never know now that either dog ever had such a tumor.   


  1. Good news! My Sadie has a history of mast cell tumors, so any little bump or lump I take her to get looked at as well.

  2. So very glad it was nothing!

  3. My eyes! Good heaven, that's not what a lady hound should be looking at, I'm sure of it! Although, I am very glad that it turned out not to be serious.


    P.S. Does Blue know you're posting pictures of his business on the internet?

  4. At first glance I thought those were tick bites. But no? Im sorry she has to get histiocytomas. It is alwasys scary to see.


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