Abstract A 9-year-old male Rottweiler was presented to the Veterinary Medical Hospital Montenegro, Porto, Portugal with a large mass medial to the left stifle and radiographic signs of bone lysis involving the proximal tibia, fibula, and distal femur. A fine-needle aspiration was obtained from left popliteal lymph node, which was markedly enlarged. Cytologic examination revealed a highly cellular sample consisting of pleomorphic cells with marked anisocytosis and anisokaryosis and other criteria of malignancy. Some cells contained intracytoplasmic, granular, dark brown material, consistent with hemosiderin. Histologic evaluation of the surgically-excised lymph node revealed a neoplastic proliferation of histiocytic cells, with marked pleomorphism; occasional cells were erythrophagocytic. Mitotic figures were frequently observed, and many were atypical. Histologic findings were consistent with malignant histiocytosis. Necropsy examination confirmed the diagnosis of malignant histiocytosis with systemic involvement affecting most organs examined. This case of malignant histiocytosis case had an atypical clinical presentation, mimicking a musculoskeletal disorder. It underlines the importance of cytology as a simple, inexpensive, rapid and noninvasive complementary exam in routine clinical practice that can permit early diagnosis of the disease and timely selection of the most adequate therapy.