My Dog's Tumor

I have made a terrible error in judgment. About 1 year ago my female rottie was 8 years. old. She developed a lump about the size of a walnut on her side. My vet stated that; 1) her age is against her for being a good candidate for surgery, 2) if we do operate to remove the tumor,we may find cancer everywhere inside her, and 3) it felt like soft tissue to him but he did leave it up to my decision.

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Well being selfish and fearful of losing her during surgery and her not showing discomfort, I had chosen not to operate to remove. My vet told me lots of dogs live fine with such a tumor and never have operation.

It is now approx. 1 year into this and the tumor has grown very slightly but I am thinking... so just what the heck are we supposed to do now, as the tumor has grown a bit. What are we supposed to just let it grow and grow?

I have very little money to pay for care for my best friend and I hate myself right now but I do think we (we is me and her) should try to do something for her before this thing grows who knows how big, even if it wasn't life threatening.
Any suggestions?

Chicka510 from Hayward, CA

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, I'm sorry to hear of your distress, I appreciate how worrying this can be. Within the last few weeks we found a lump to one side of our almost 8 yr old border collie/cattle dog's chest. We do have a friend who is a vet, not everyone is so lucky, and she came to our home and did a biopsy which she took away to test. It turned out to be benign, thankfully. She told us that older dogs are more prone to these lumps and while many are harmless, it's always a good idea to check. While this one resulted in good news, she advised us to keep an eye on him for any changes in size of the lump, etc.

She told us if they prove 'safe' it's best not to remove them by surgery. We fully trust her opinion.

If you could find out the cost of a biopsy and could afford that just to put your mind at rest, it might help.

I hope you can work something out, it's quite worrying to think of our best friend in pain or poor health.

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

You did what you thought was right at the time. My furbaby is 13yrs.and has medical issues. I to have limited funds. I saw this site awhile back and just remembered it from your post So I'm not sure how or if it works:carecredit.com also ask your vet for agencies that will help.

God Bless. Hope I helped. Let us know.

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

retraction...carecredit.com is the wrong info.I'll find the correct one.sorry..

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

My black labrador also developed a lump on her side but our vet told us not to worry about it and never gave us a diagnosis. That was 7 years ago...she is now 14 years old and whenever I walk her, other dog owners can't believe she is 14 years old. It has never held her back from having a full life. Your vet knows best...but what if it is the same situation? Don't do anything drastic like euthanizing your pet. As long as she is pain free, and she gets lots of love, she can live a long happy life. Good luck to you.

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

We had a golden who develop such a tumor. The vet aspirated the tumor and was able to put it under the microscope and he did find cancer. It was not very expensive to have the test done and then you would know either way. I know it will be a hard decision but always remember quality of life they can't make that decision and I know its a heart breaker but always remember quality of life when it comes to it. But on the bright side hopefully its a fatty tumor the docs should be able to tell.

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

My parents' rat terrier has several lumps that were basically fatty tumors. They are benign, and the vet said they would return if removed. I don't know if this is what you are describing, but it is something older dogs can develop. It comes down to how much you trust your vet, and if the dog is showing any signs of discomfort.

After having spent a lot of money on pets and their illnesses over the years, I know what you mean about the money side of things. I'm about to face a tough decision about my 18 year old toy poodle who has glaucoma in both eyes, because I know that she has lived a good life and that her age is going to play a big part in the decision (not to mention the $2500 price for surgery). Like someone suggested, maybe a biopsy, or a second opinion would make you feel better about a course of treatment. If you have a veterinary school in your area, you might check with them and see if they could do that for a reduced fee.

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

My dog had a large tumor on his side for many years. He was old and the vet. advised us to leave it be as it caused him no pain. He lived a long wonderful life. I'm grateful we did not put him through surgery. Please don't torture yourself with guilt. Peace, Sharon

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

My first cocker spaniel developed fatty tumors about eight years and he did well until a cancerous tumor appeared in a tiny cluster under the pit of his front leg and when it noticeably enlarged, I had it removed and it came back again. Less than one year later, I decided to put him to sleep at the point where he began to feel discomfort and spare him another surgery as the outcome wasn't going to be a cure and the cancer had begun to spread in other areas. My dog lived 11 years. He had a good life and I sure hated to make the decision to let go of him and it hurt at the time, but he wasn't going to get better.

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June 29, 20080 found this helpful

Do not feel bad. My beloved Buddy (Irish Wolf Hound/Lab) had formed a tumor the size of a quarter. At that time I have just lost my dad to cancer. I decided after watching my father suffer with treatment and surgeries to let Buddy be and live his life. Sure the tumor grew but he lived 4 1/2 more good years. He was 125 pounds and we could not afford treatment for him and like I said about my father. We had to put Buddy down 3 years ago, he was 11. He was a great dog and I sure do miss him a lot. The tumor was quite large and I knew Buddy was uncomfortable so we put him down. I know in my heart I did the right thing for him. Sure we could have spent all the $$$ and done the surgerys and treatments but it might of prolonged his life maybe a year more and through the treatments he would have been miserable.

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June 30, 20080 found this helpful

Hello -

You've had some good answers here ! I would agree with them. You love your dog, Rotties don't have the longest life anyway (no big dog does), if I were you I'd put up with the lump not looking too nice, but not causing your dog any problems. When they start getting opened up, there seems to be not much but trouble following. Just love your Woofer, and forget the lump. She's 9 now, you'll probably have her until she dies with no problems from it.

Enjoy your dog, and try not to worry about her.

All the best to both of you. Leah from Down Under

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June 30, 20080 found this helpful

We recently noticed a lump on our 10-yr-old dog's side and took her to our vet. We were advised that it is a fatty tumor (lipoma) and doesn't need to be removed unless it gets a lot larger or starts bothering her. Our neighbor's dog has had a similar lump for a year or more and hasn't had it removed yet. If your vet didn't indicate what kind of tumor he thought it might be (I think they can tell by feeling it if it's a fatty tumor), I'd get another opinion.

It seems older dogs are prone to these things, and they are usually harmless.

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June 30, 20080 found this helpful

I would ask the vet how much a biopsy would cost...if you can afford that, then you would know what you are dealing with and can go from there....explain to them that you don't have much money and ask if they know of any place you could get some help to pay for the treatment....if your dog needs surgery, you could go to your local newspaper and tell them you have a "human interest story"...tell them of your plight...I live in a fairly large city and the residents here are very generous in donating cash to those in need, if it tugs at the heart strings, and almost anyone would help a poor dog.....good luck and keep us informed...

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July 7, 20080 found this helpful

Oh I can only say thanks to all whom responded to my post. After reading everyones input I feel so much more at ease, probably because my girl has shown no signs of suffering and I probably really do tend to be a worry wart with her. While reading everyones responses I realized that part of my fear was the feeling of being alone, all of the responses just made me feel so much like I do not have to be alone with this. There are plenty of caring people in this world, I just tend to shut out people and rely a lot on the companionship of my dog.

THANK YOU ALL for the responses, each and everyone is invaluable to me.

Respectfully, Chicka510

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