Is FNA Adequate to Diagnose a Bone Tumor in a Dog?

OncoLink
Last Modified: September 17, 2012

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Question

Fine needle aspirates obtained from a bony lesion on my dog's front leg came back negative for osteosarcoma. Can I be confident that he doesn't have bone cancer or could he have it and it's not showing up in the test. I don't want to put him through a biopsy if it's not needed?

Erika Krick, VMD, DACVIM Veterinary Medical Oncologist, University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Answer

Biopsy is usually more accurate to diagnose osteosarcoma in dogs. I would recommend that you discuss the situation with your veterinarian to find out how suspicious he or she is of osteosarcoma in your dog.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from When a Beloved Pet has Cancer.