veterinarian thinks my dog may have a kind of leukemia called malignant
lymphoma because his (the dog's!) lymph nodes are all very
My dog acts just fine but the doctor wanted to take
a biopsy of one of the lymph nodes to find out what is causing them to swell
so much. He stuck a needle into the lymph node behind his knee and is
sending it in to a lab.
Is this really a biopsy and what is it going to
node... what is
Being able to actually look at cells under
the microscope and see what kind they are,
if they are normal or not, and classify them according to well established
scientific standards is an amazing tool for human and veterinary medical
doctors. The ability to use special stains to highlight certain
cells that otherwise would be hidden from view is an important part of the
cell identification process.
The dark blue cells in the image on the right
shows how a special stain makes the pathogenic (disease producing) yeast
cells of Blastomycosis really stand out from the background of lymph node
cells. This specimen was obtained by doing a FNA (fine needle
aspirate) where a needle is inserted into the lymph node and tissue cells
pulled into the needle.
Even a few cells when placed on a slide and
examined under the microscope could yield a positive diagnosis. And
the sooner a positive diagnosis is made the sooner the patient can start
on an appropriate therapeutic plan.
| Doctor's Notes
Tissue specimens that aren't
easily identified by visual inspection can be sent to a veterinary
pathology laboratory. Your veterinarian will suggest sending off
tissues for positive identification and classification.
You can always decline the service, but knowledge
acquired today may make life better tomorrow!
Needle biopsies seldom cause pain for the patient and can be a quick
and efficient method of tissue analysis.
Learn about tumors...
What's the difference between a tumor, growth, cancer,
lump, mass, etc. Go