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My vets are stuck in a rut

June 28th, 2011, 06:24 PM
Champ is a 10 year old Florida Cur dog who has a history of having fatty tissue lumps, and skin tags. A year ago, he had about six of these removed.

About four or five months ago, one reappeared on his left side (near back). Initially it was the size of a golf ball ... perfectly round and a little firm. Over the months it slowly grew until it was grapefruit sized ..still perfectly rounded. It appearred very much like a large cyst a former dog had before.

I made an appointment with my vet a week in advance. Before the appointment came up, the 'lump' ruptured internally and the 'fluids' spread down along his side and under belly. The underbelly had a bruised coloration. The vet prescribed Clavavox (?) for him and sent us home.

Two weeks later the lump re-gathered to the hard grapefruit shape and it appearred as though it would rupture again. The vet did exploratory surgery and told me that it was NOT a cyst or hematoma, but rather a solid mass. He did a biopsy it and sent it to a lab for analysis. The results were inconclusive, but did show 'the possibility' of mast cancer cells.

Before he got the results, the 'grapefruit' ruptured adain externally (thru one of the incision points) spilling dark blood all over my house for a couple of days. Once I ran out of the Clavavox, I started giving him cephalixin, and some prednizone the vet from the past year's surgery had given me. The lump subsided completely, except for a small egg shaped soft mass and the dog returned to his normal behavior.

When I returned to the vet, he was amazed! He had been convinced that the dog had a 'solid' mast cancer tumor. He advised me to continue giving him the cephalixin and prednizone. The dog continued to rebound.

I ran out of the prednizone in about three weeks, and once I stopped giving it to him, the lump slowly reappearred and appearred to be filling with blood again. Like the last time, it got as big as a grapefruit, and hard. My dog kept licking at the old incision as if it was draining. Soon, it ruptured again...again spilling blood all over my home for a couple of days. To slow the mess...I attempted to stop the flow by applying pressure to it. Eventually it stopped bleeding. The round hard grapefruit had shrunk to about the size of an apple. However, eventually, the round lump dropped and formed a big sack of blood (or mass) on his lower side and under belly the size of a football.

Concerned about his discomfort toting this large sack around, I went to yet another vet hoping for the 'lump' to be drained, or surgically opened and any mass removed. The new vet did not believe that it was 'full of blood' and thinks it is a large mast tumor. I do not! Maybe a small mast tumor, but I think that 95% of the mass is blood. She told me that she could not drain it because it was too large and a crap shoot as to where to put draining tubes, and that it was too large to remove if it is indeed a mass. She prescribed cephalixin and prednizone.

There has been no conclusive proof that it is a cancerous tumor..of any size, however, there is repeated evidence that it is a collection of blood and/or body fluids. Do I go to yet another vet? I am not in denial about the possibility that it is a cancerous tumor, but convinced that my dogs discomfort is a result of this large lump consisting primarily of blood. I would like to make him more comfortable. My question...What should I do now? I want to find a vet who will at least 'try' to drain the mass and relieve some of the pressure, and surgically remove any mass that is there if it is possible to do so. The vet says to come back and see her in two weeks, and if by chance the lump ruptures again, she would like to see it at that time. Mainwhile, my dog suffers. Don't they even have any kind of pain meds for dogs? My vets never prescribe anything for pain.

June 28th, 2011, 06:44 PM
What were the results of the biopsy? Was that why Vet #1 was convinced the lump was a mast cell tumor? Was the first vet unwilling to try to drain it as well?

Although they tend to be a bit pricier than regular practice vets, we've never felt we were wasting money asking for a referral to a Veterinary Teaching Hospital specialist. They see so many more hard-to-diagnose cases there than regular vets do, and more often than not can give you a definitive diagnosis. But if money is an issue, you'll need to consider all the pros and cons of whatever tests are suggested since they can get expensive.

I believe there is a Veterinary Teaching Hospital associated with the Vet College in Gainsville, and there may be others. Just a thought...

I hope you get some answers and an effective treatment for your Champ soon :goodvibes:

June 29th, 2011, 09:44 AM
The results from the biopsy were inconclusive..there 'could possibly be' some mast cells, but not certain...

The first vet tried to drain it before it ruptured the first time..when he did the exploratory surgery and the biopsy...but he put the drain tubes in a dead area far to the side of the main lump...As a result, there was never anything discharged through those later ruptured from one of the incision points...because the tension on the skin and pressure was so great. When it ruptured there were 2 foot pools of blood in several palces throughout my house...and blood trials from one to the next...yet nothing ever drained from the tubes.

I like the new vets bedside manner..but she is just stuck on the mast cell thing. Twice now...when it ruptured internally...and the last time when I stopped the external bleeding..the blood went under his skin down his side and under his belly...making a soft pillow. The new vet sees that now and insist that this 'blood pillow' is a mass of meat .. a mass of mast cells... When I ask hert to drain it, she says..Oh! That tumor is spread so much you could never drain it. I told her..his adomen and side was normal until a week ago when I stopped the external belleding, and the 'so called mass' was not there then..but she refuses to accept that. She has done no real testing of it other than to look at it.

I will take your suggestion and take him to Gainesvills..Money isn't a issue..

Total so far $415


June 29th, 2011, 11:52 AM
We got the same biopsy results from what turned out to be a vaccination lump. They thought 'mast cell tumor', so they did a rather invasive removal to try to prevent it's spread, complete with drains, and then found out after removal that there was no mast cell tumor present. :shrug:

I hope you can get some definitive answers from the specialists. Keep us posted, pls!