HT Vista has published the results of a small survey which indicates that vets who have been qualified for more than five years are 14% less likely to rely on palpation alone than clinicians with less than five year's experience, when diagnosing lipoma.

55 veterinary surgeons took part in the survey, which also found that only 37% of clinicians use FNA and cytology when investigating a suspected lipoma. 

According to the survey, the biggest barriers to further investigations of lumps and bumps were cost (50%), short consult time (23%) and confidence in results (20%).

HT Vista, which earlier this year launched a cancer screening device for dogs which uses heat diffusion technology and AI to differentiate between benign skin masses and other tumours, is urging more practising vets to use an accurate screening process for early detection of malignant masses.

Dr. Gillian Dank, Board Certified Oncologist and Chief Veterinary Officer at HTVet, said: “There is no way to know that a mass is a lipoma based on palpation alone.

"The fact that a mass is subcutaneous, soft and circumscribed is not exclusive to lipoma and it could be a number of things including a mast cell tumour or sarcoma.

"On average a veterinary practice sees over 500 dermal and subcutaneous masses each year.

"We know anecdotally, and surveys like this confirm, that not every mass is aspirated – and that is why there is need for the HT Vista screening device.

"Every mass that comes in should be properly examined.”

“It’s interesting to see that the more experienced a clinician is, the less confident they are in diagnosing from palpation and this shows us that with experience we understand that our hands are not enough.”

Liron Levy-Hirsch, Managing Director of HT Vista, said: “The survey showed that vets are conscious of the cost to clients, and also feel pressured due to time.

"We have developed the HT Vista to complement FNA and cytology, and hope clinicians find it a useful tool.

"Firstly, it is quick and affordable to scan, and for those masses that are benign it removes the need for unnecessary FNA’s.

"Secondly, vets are often wary of cost, however if a mass is scanned and the results indicate that further investigation is needed, there is more rationale to spend the extra money to get the cytology results.

"Finally, the device can offer complete confidence that malignancies are not being missed, and if a mass is malignant a prompt treatment plan can be initiated.” 

PS: Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vets.