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Treatment for Trichoblastoma

Clinician's Brief (Capsule)


|July 2014

A 2-year-old dog was presented for multiple cutaneous soft fluctuating nodules on the face. The nodules varied in size from 2–9 cm and had grown over the past 30 days. Several nodules had ulcerated. Cytology results from fine-needle aspiration suggested basal cell neoplasia. No evidence of metastasis or systemic disease was identified on staging blood work or imaging. Two cycles of doxorubicin and piroxicam were administered before a second surgical excision to facilitate removal; the tumors decreased in size and were less turgid. All nodules were removed by surgical excision and skin defects closed with rotation flaps. The dog was still disease free after 10 months.


Trichoblastomas, common benign neoplasms of dogs and cats, typically occur in animals >5 years of age. The lesions tend to be solitary and found most often on the head, neck, and base of the ear. Although there is no known sex predilection, poodles and spaniels may be predisposed. In cats, lesions tend to occur on the cranial aspect of the body. Initial diagnostics for any ulcerated mass include fine-needle aspiration and impression smears. When obtaining tissue samples of rapidly growing lesions, skin biopsy punches are often inadequate because sample depth is insufficient. When obtaining samples of nodular/ulcerated nodular lesions, excisional biopsy or cold steel wedge biopsy should be attempted. Often these lesions have large areas of necrosis that are nondiagnostic. In addition, if the lesions are caused by a pathogen, it may only be found in the deepest part of the tissue sample.—Karen A. Moriello, DVM, DACVD


Multiple trichoblastomas in a dog. Campos AG, Cogliati B, Guerra JM, Matera JM. VET DERMATOL 25:48-e19, 2014

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