Osteochchandroma Or Other Cause Diagnosis Approach

by Vanessa Zimmerman
(Bradenton, Florida USA)

My 12 year old staffy terrier has had this hard lump on her femur. My Staffy has had the lump for about 1 1/2 years, and during that time it grew slowly.

What is the best way to diagnose this lump?

Editor Thoughts on Diagnosing a Hard Lump

Hi Vanessa,

I'm sorry to hear about the lump on your staffy terrier. Here's an approach to diagnosing these kinds of lumps:

Diagnostic Steps:

Physical Examination: The veterinarian will first assess the lump's size, shape, consistency, mobility, and exact location. They will also look for any other lumps or changes in the dog's body.

Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA): This is a minimally invasive procedure where a small needle is used to extract cells from the lump. The cells are then examined under a microscope (cytology) to determine the nature of the lump. This can often differentiate between benign growths, inflammatory processes, and malignant tumors.

Biopsy: If the FNA results are inconclusive or if the vet suspects a more complicated tumor, a biopsy may be taken. This involves removing a small portion or the entire lump surgically, which is then examined histologically.

X-rays: If there's concern that the lump might be affecting the underlying bone or to check for metastasis (spread) of a suspected cancerous lump, radiographs of the area (and possibly the chest) might be recommended.

Bloodwork: To assess the overall health of the dog, ensure they're fit for potential surgical removal of the lump, and to check for any signs of systemic illness related to the lump.


Given the lump's consistent growth and the age of your dog, it's important to have it checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible. The first step would likely be a Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA), as it's a quick, straightforward procedure that can provide valuable information about the lump's nature. Depending on those results, further diagnostic steps can be taken.

While many lumps are benign (not cancerous), it's important to diagnose and treat potentially harmful growths promptly.

Please keep us up to date on your Staffy's condition.

Editor and Publisher
Dog Health Guide

Please note: This information is intended to complement, not replace, the advice of your pet's veterinarian. Always consult a vet for professional medical advice about your pet's health.

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