A skin (epidermal) mass aspirate is a procedure where a small needle with attached syringe is inserted into the abnormal area and a small sample is suctioned into the syringe. A biopsy obtains a larger sample of the area, and sometimes removes the entire abnormal area. Epidermal biopsies require either local, or general anesthesia depending on the location and size of the mass. Samples are sent to a veterinary pathologist for evaluation for cancer, infection, and inflammation.
Your pet may benefit from an aspirate or a biopsy if there is an abnormal swelling, discoloration, or non-healing wound on the skin.