Cutaneous Histiocytoma In Dogs, Causes And Treatment

Today, you will be enlightened about Malignant Histiocytoma in Dogs. What is  Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs? It is a type of cancer that is aggressive and commonly found in soft tissue such as muscles and tendons.

In rare cases, the disease will originates from the bone. The disease is uncommon in dogs but it is overrepresented in a certain breed of dogs.

As such, it is considered to be hereditary. Continue reading to the end to learn all that you need to know about the disease.

Need to learn more about Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs?

Cutaneous Histiocytoma In Dogs, Causes And Treatment

Malignant Histiocytoma in Dogs is an aggressive disease that is characterized by the abnormal accumulation of the histiocyte cells, a type of white blood cell.

The histiocyte is found in the body’s connective tissues (not in the blood) and works as part of the immune system.


Cutaneous histiocytosis affects middle-aged dogs, and it is a result of cells aggressively cancerous with the ability to invade multiple body sites. Also, the disease is characterized by multiple hypoechoic nodules with well-defined borders.

Cutaneous histiocytoma in dogs pictures
Cutaneous histiocytoma in dogs pictures

Causes Of Malignant Cutaneous Histiocytoma In Dogs.

What then causes Cutaneous histiocytoma in dogs? It is postulated that Histiocytomas are caused due to the rapid growth caused by the  production of histiocytes, which later results to a cluster of lumps.

It is however suggested that ticks, viruses, or infections propel the immune system to carry out this malignant act.

Also, some stipulate Cutaneous histiocytosis is a type of histiocytic sarcoma, which may be influenced by an unusually large amount of histiocytes, a type of white blood cells that are integral to the immune system functions. But there is yet to be a definitive cause for malignant histiocytomas.

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Additionally, there is ongoing research to find out the root cause of the disease and to provide a suitable treatment that will counter the effect in the long run.

Symptoms Of Cutanous Histiocytoma In Dogs.

Going further is to find out the symptoms and signs of Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs. There are signs that your dog displays which serve as pointers that it is suffering from malignant histiocytoma. This will help pet owners to act swiftly and take the dog to a veterinarian who will further place the dog under certain diagnoses.

Following are symptoms of Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs: loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, fever, weakness, depression, coughing, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, limping, lameness, incoordination, neurological disturbances, paralysis and seizures, anemia, and jaundice.

There are different types of Malignant Histiocytoma in Dogs and it is dependent on the particular organs that are affected by the disease.

For example, breathing will be difficult if the lungs are affected, and there will be a sign of seizures and paralysis if the brain is affected.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency that dogs with malignant Cutaneous histiocytoma may die typically within weeks to months of been diagnosed with the disease.

That is why it is imperative to place dogs under early diagnoses via your pet if you note any health changes as well as different  symptoms that you observed in your dogs.

Diagnoses Of Cutaneous Histiocytoma In Dogs.

photo of Cutaneous fibrous histiocytoma in dogs
photo of Cutaneous fibrous histiocytoma in dogs

Before your veterinarian can come up with a suitable Treatment of Cutaneous in Dogs, it is important to first find out if your dog test positive for the disease.

There are various ways of diagnosing Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs. However, you must talk to your veterinarian and relate all symptoms you have observed over time so that they can help point to organs that may be affected.

Following are Testes that will be carry out on dogs suspected to have Cutaneous Histiocytoma.

#1. Blood and Fluid Test.

A blood or fluid test is carried out using blood samples that are taken and then analyzed. The results may show signs of anemia or increased liver enzymes. A urine sample is also collected to perform a urinalysis which may also show any abnormalities.

#2. X-rays and Ultrasound Scan.

X-rays and ultrasounds examination may be conducted to assess if the tumors have spread to internal organs and tissues. Also, your veterinarian will be able to note if there is any complication that may be occurring, such as an enlarged liver or spleen, or the presence of fluid in lung cavities.

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#3. CT Scans and MRI.

CT scans and MRI are advanced examinations that can also be conducted to further come up with an assertive diagnosis. The results of these examinations can point out where the tumor lies as well as other body areas where cancer has spread to.

#4. Biopsy.

A biopsy is often carried out using an assertive needle to collect fluid or a sample of the cancer cell is gotten via surgery may be taken and analyzed. Also, an Immunohistochemistry test can be conducted to help distinguish between benign and malignant tumors, as well as differentiate the type of cancer your dog may have.

Treatment Of Cutaneous Histiocytoma In Dogs.

Cutaneous histiocytoma in dogs treatment
Cutaneous histiocytoma in dogs treatment

The next important point of discourse is to identify the various Treatment of Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs. Unfortunately, none of the available treatment options is effective at this time. However, several ongoing trials are engaging liposomal clodronate (LC), among other chemotherapeutic agents, that have recently shown some promise in the treatment of this disease.

Also, Palliative care is another form of Treatment of Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs which aims at relieving the symptoms associated with malignant histiocytosis. Palliative care is commonly employed to provide relief to dogs diagnosed with the disease until they succumb to their disease or are humanely euthanized.

Furthermore, other Treatment of Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs which are sometimes engaged includes non-traditional modalities such as acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.

However, it is yet unproven via controlled clinical trials, but many veterinarians believe these treatment options can make a difference to their patients’ degree of comfort.

Prognosis Of Dogs With Cutaneous Diseases.

The life expectancy of dogs with Cutaneoush histiocytoma is very poor. However, if it has not spread to other body areas, with treatment, your dog can live many more months or years.

Unfortunately, metastasis of this disease is rapidly progressive, and can quickly spread into internal organs, which makes the need to diagnose and treat this condition urgently very vital.

Also, if the disease has spread to other body organs, the prognosis of the disease is usually fatal, either by complications or euthanasia.

Dog Breeds Prone to Cutaneous Histiocytoma.

It is good to know the dog breeds that are predisposed to suffer from malignant histiocytoma.

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While the cause of Malignant Histiocytoma in Dogs is largely unknown, also it remains unclear whether there exists a genetic component that may predispose a dog to develop malignant histiocytosis.

We were able to identify some dog breeds that are prone to the disease more than other dogs. They are;

#1. Bernese Mountain Dogs.

#2. Boxers.

#3. Briards.

#4. Bull Terriers.

#5. Chinese Shar-Pei.

#6. Cocker Spaniels.

#7. Collies, Dachshunds.

#8. Flat-Coated Retrievers.

#9. German Shepherds.

#10. Golden Retrievers.

#11. Great Danes.

#12. Rottweilers.

#13. Shetland Sheepdogs.

Peradventure you cannot cope with dog breeds that seem to develop this disease, you can look up the dog breeds and avoid owning them.

How to Prevent Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs.

Do you remember the popular saying, “prevention is better than cure”. It is ideal to prevent the disease from happening rather than spending a large chunk of money on the cure which is not effective. Sadly, there is yet to be a definitive mode of prevention for this tragically aggressive disease.

Treatment Cost of Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs.

Like every other cancer case, the cost of treating canine Cutaneous histiocytoma is very expensive even though there is no assurance of total recovery.

The cost of diagnosing malignant histiocytosis including X-rays, bloodwork, ultrasound, fine-needle aspirate, and cytopathological examination is typically between $700 and $1,500 to over $5,000. It all depends on the level of care elected.

Also, palliative care cost depends largely on whether owners choose to employ a vigorous hospice protocol that may keep their dogs comfortable for a longer period, or whether they elect to euthanize the dog earlier on in the process.

Typical costs range between $50 to $1,000 a week (can be more than), depending on which medications and modalities are elected.

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Cutaneous Histiocytoma in Dogs is a grave illness. Pet owners must monitor pets at every time so that they can quickly report to their veterinarian should in case they show signs of Cutaneous histiocytoma.

This will enable the disease to be put under control and further elongate the life span of the dog. Overall, we suggest that you read through every information provided in this informative piece for comprehensive knowledge on the disease.


Author: David Arthur

David's lifelong passion for animals blossomed into a dream profession in 2020. He founded Petscareway Inc., a professional pet care company situated in the Texas. Several veterinarians have educated him in Pet First Aid and CPR since 2003. David decided to become a certified Pet First Aid and CPR instructor in 2011 after completing an instructor training course. David decided he had to be a part of ProPetHero when he discovered them in 2016 and saw how they were offering ER veterinarian-led training to everyone. As a result, he became a member of the ProTrainings family, the designers of ProPetHero. He volunteers and fosters for The Boxer Rescue Inc in his spare time, is a health-conscious Boxer breeder, and is a member of the Middlesex Boxer Club and Wachusett Kennel Club. David has served as a mentor to many people in the pet industry and in the small company world. When he's not working or helping, he's competing with his dogs in agility, lure coursing, and conformation trials across the country. David can be seen training with his puppies, hiking with them on trails, or playing in his backyard when he is not at a trial or trying to find a nice home for a Boxer through the rescue.

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