Tag Archives: labrador retriever

Histiocytoma: Aka- Button Tumor in Dogs

Button tumor on the side of Muddy's abdomen. July, 25, 2013

histiocytoma on the side of Muddy’s abdomen. July, 25, 2013


Muddy, the lab is a clown. If you are "dog tired" of the camera person just stick out your tongue.

Muddy, the lab is a clown. If you are “dog tired” of the camera person just stick out your tongue.

Muddy loves sticks.  No inclination to fetch- anything!

Muddy loves sticks. No inclination to fetch- anything!

Muddy resting in the gravel driveway.

Muddy resting in the gravel driveway.

About a month ago I discovered a small round odd looking growth on the side of my labrador retriever, Muddy. A very odd looking growth that is approximately an inch in diameter.

I feared for the worse possible news but my veterinarian diagnosed the growth as a histiocytoma also known as a button tumor. He declared no immediate removal and instructed me to give Benadryl 50mg twice daily for 2 months. The tumor is considered benign but he also said that it should be removed if it does not go away or shrink from the antihistamine. He said that this type of tumor sometimes responds to an antihistamine since the tumor is believed to arise from from type of histamine reaction in the body.

I’ll have it removed after I finish the Benadryl in about a month. I have not seen any change in the size so far and thus I don’t think I will be home free without having to shell out some money. I might add that Muddy weighs around 90 pounds and part of the cost of surgery is figured in according to the weight of an animal. It will not be cheap.

Dog breeds (most often affected) by this type of tumor include Dachshund, Shetland Sheep Dog, Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, Boxer, Staffordshire Terrier, and the Cocker Spaniel.

Of note there is a malignant tumor that resembles the button tumor. Do not take this info here as the last word. If you notice any growth on your cat or dog DO NOT HESITATE TO GET YOUR PET TO THE VET FOR PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT.

I have posted a pic of the tumor along with a few photos of my boy. Muddy was found five years ago by me on a cold and wet January night in the parking lot of the hospital where I worked for not quite 35 years. Muddy is a wonderful watch dog and is very smart. He just does not care a lot for water and has never shown an inclination to retrieve. He does like to play with sticks that he finds in the yard.

Post and photographs

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Purebred, Pedigreed, Mutt, Mongrel, What is Your Dog? (click to enlarge photo )


Molly looking for squirrels   (foundling)

“Muddy” chocolate labrador retriever ( foundling)

Purebred and pedigree are two words that are often mistaken as meaning the same. I will attempt to simplify the words but the meanings can actually be confusing, if paying attention to detail is over looked.

Purebred is a dog that has been created to breed true of a certain type, with all offspring that have continued to look the same for many generations. For example the dogs with the same physical attributes are mated with repeated matings and sometimes within a small gene pool which means lots of inbreeding. So a dog as a breed may be recognized by the AKC but the progeny of the original breeding just might not have “papers” proving that he/she is of pedigreed stock. I want to make it clear that a dog does not need to have a pedigree with papers in order to be a good dog or a good specimen. For example quite a number of dogs are bred purely as working dogs and some of these breeders keep records but they are recorded in other registries rather than the AKC.  And, some breeders of working dogs simply do not enter their dogs in any kind of registry.

There will always be individuals  attempting to create a new breed. With each successive generation the breeders are hoping and applying for AKC regconition with years and years going by before the breed is finally deemed acceptable by AKC standards. Getting a little deeper here: it is up to the breeders of what ever dog they have created, to set a standard for the breed. This includes color or colors, and every physical feature of the dog which includes height, weight, ears, tails, etc. etc. A breed standard is complicated and one must study the breed closely in order to really know a breed.  

A pedigree dog means one that has a record- an ancestry record that is.  In other words if you buy a purebred dog from a breeder of good reputation then most likely you can get a dog that has “papers” as in American Kennel Club registration papers. This organization keeps records of all puppies with papers that are sent in by the breeder and the owner also sends in the final papers with a ridiculous sounding name such as “Othello the Great of Isle Dogdoright.” Well that is just a tiny stretch of the imagination. But I’m sure there are some of y0u that have a dog/dogs with a funny sounding name with AKC registration papers.  A (pedigree) therefore really means a (purebred) dog that has a long history of all of its descendants- mother, father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc. etc. and on down the line.

Some of my dogs are mutts and over half just happen to be purebred. I did not go looking for any of my dogs-they either arrived on our property or I found them in a hospital parking lot, apartment complex near my home, or starving on the street, Two of them were saved from the needle of death – one from the Ft Worth city animal shelter and one from the shelter in the town where I live. None of my dogs have a pedigree paper and yet they are all very smart and mostly free of any inherited disease with the exception of Kippy who is a mutt and developed a hernia that required surgery. My other little dog has chronic eye problems. I love all my dogs for their loyalty and companionsip. I can not imagine not having a bevy of dogs around me- and one major attribute is that my pets keep me safe. Each one of them can hold their own as a guard dog.

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The Squirrel Patrol Dog (Click for slide show) No. 1





 Photographs by Yvonne   


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The Squirrel Patrol Dog (No. 2) (Click for slide show)

I should call the labrador, in the photo, a squirrel dog instead of a retriever.  While eyeballing the squirrels, Molly makes a great subject since she remains virtually in one spot as she displays an array of expressions.  

 Molly has MANY squirrels to watch. To say that these critters or varmints,  err, I mean rodents, are abundant, is an understatement. Just how many squirrels are in one section of our neighborhood? Well, my neighbor Mr. P. has trapped a mere 20 or so squirrels in about two days. He traps and then takes them to the other side of the lake or down to the river where there are plenty of tress. Last year he trapped about 200 squirrels.

The problem with so many squirrels is that they will rob a pecan tree of every last pecan within a very short time. The hungry little rodents don’t even wait for the pecans to ripen on the tree in our yard. I don’t bother spraying the tree in late winter or early spring for sticky shuck disease for there is simply no point to spend money in a futile attempt to reap a tiny bounty of pecans besides putting  more harmful chemicals in the environment. 

So I trust Mr P. to control the squirrel population. But lest you think he is depleting the neighborhood of these adorable little varmints, I mean rodents, he doesn’t make much of a dent. Come spring and summer, every tree in our yard has at least two to three squirrel nests situated high in the big live oaks and elms. I can readily tell you that the squirrels in our yard and those in Mr. P’s yard have an abundant food supply. Beginning in the summer there are about 8 fig trees that provide supplemental food. In addition there are plenty of oaks that supply acorns each fall.

I  stopped putting bird seed out mostly to deter the squirrels from coming and nesting in our yard. Actually, I know better than to think that I could control the squirrels by merely ceasing to feed the birds. But hey, I gave it a try anyway. And then, one day I saw a Red Shouldered hawk and to my dismay, learned the hawk had a mate and the happy couple had set up shop and were nesting in our area. They weren’t just catching the squirrels but also were picking off the white wing doves and other song birds. I saw no logical reason to make it easier for the hawks to have a virtual feeding station just outside our windows. I saw the hawks lurking in the trees off and on during August and September. I did my best to scare then away by blowing up paper sacks that I popped. That was enough to scare then away for the rest of the day and then they were back the next day.  Trying to keep the hawks at bay lasted about a week.  So, I let my hawk vigil fall by the wayside. Simply put it was stupid and required too much time and energy.



Post and photographs by Yvonne Daniel  


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