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An approach to nodules and draining sinus tracts

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Abstract

Nodules and sinus tracts are common signs in small animal dermatology and are the manifestation of a diverse group of underlying pathological processes, some of which may be common, as in a cat bite abscess, or rare, as in the case of some mycoses. Nodules are solid, cystic or oedematous elevations of the skin that may extend into the subcutis, panniculus and/or muscle. Microscopically, they are made up of accumulations of cells and fluid within the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. These cells may be neoplastic, inflammatory/reactive or both. Disruption of the epidermis over nodules occurs frequently as a result of inflammation or ischaemia. The clinical features associated with the necrosis and inflammation are sinus tracts and/or ulceration. The chapter looks at the following: Differential diagnosis; and Clinical approach.

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Figures

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9.5 Nodular sebaceous hyperplasia: one of several lesions in the skin of this elderly dog.
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9.6 Fine-needle aspirate cytology from a mast cell tumour. Note the erythrocytes and eosinophils admixed with the neoplastic mast cell population.

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