14 Year Old Golden with a Mass --> Beautiful Badness

You never want a pathologist to say your cytology is "beautiful".

It's just one of those weird things in the path world-- it's hard not to appreciate the "beauty" in the cytology, even when you know it means something bad for the pet. But I digress...

This case was shared in the VetHive community by one of our awesome members, Dr. Alison Hamel (who will be retiring in 3 weeks! Congrats Alison!!).

14yr old Golden Retriever diagnosed with an oral malignant melanoma last August. She has not been on any treatment. Developed Horner’s syndrome in opposite eye. This evening she presented with a subcutaneous mass over the back of her head which was aspirated and shown here.

What's your conclusion?

This is a "beautiful" (there's that word) malignant melanoma. Technically, it's best if we have histopath to make the final call of malignant versus benign when it comes to melanomas...

...but in this case, the marked cytologic atypia (e.g. binucleation, multiple prominent nucleoli, anisonucleolisosis, anisokaryosis, anisocytosis, varying N:C ratios) and the history of oral malignant melanoma certainly makes more than a strong case for cutaneous metastasis.

The plan with this pup is to keep her as happy as possible in the time she has left. Thankfully, Dr. Hamel was able to get the owners some super valuable information that will help the owners prepare.