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  #31  
Old June 15th, 2008, 08:07 PM
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Keep your fingers crossed for Pepper, that she will agree to operate on the Lipoma....
Good luck to you and Pepper , who by the way is a beauty !
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  #32  
Old June 15th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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Oh, I hope this vet is willing to do the surgery, dbg!

We have 4 hands of and 32 crossed s sending good wishes Pepper's way!
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  #33  
Old July 18th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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Today we had our visit to our vet for the lump check and to discuss surgery by the vet I found that uses lasers in her practise. Some here may disagree with me waiting this long before seeing the new vet but after the accident where I fell on her, I wanted to make sure she had recovered from that completely before discussing surgery.

Since I last posted Pepper has developed an occasional dry cough and the lump has dropped even lower to the point where it is almost under her chest. I have also noticed at times that she seemed short of breath but it didn't seem to interfere with her activity level. Happily the lump doesn't seem to have increased in size, just dropped. However, a new issue appeared today which may increase her risk factors for surgery. Pepper has developed a Grade 2 heart murmur in the last 8 weeks, at her last exam on May 16 her heart was fine despite the extra stress of the lump. Pepper has also lost
6 lbs since May 16 and though I think its due to the fact she hasn't been eating as much as before, it still may indicate something else is going on that may create a higher risk for her surgery.

My vet is more than willing for us to go to the new vet for a second opinion and for the surgery if I want to. My vet does not use a laser in her practise so she thinks Pepper may have a better chance with a vet who does. She estimates the weight of Peppers lump to be between 12 and 14 pounds. She is concerned about her age because she says the average life span of an ESS is 12 years and whether Pepper would gain any quality time from having the lump removed. She has experience with smaller lipomas and said the older dogs sometimes have their major organs compromised by surgery and end up losing any quality life they might have had without the surgery. She also mentioned that we don't know whether any part of the tumour is growing inside and whether Pepper's lungs or heart are compromised already. My vet was not trying to dissuade me from having the surgery done, she just likes me to know all the risks I'm facing before making the decision.

I thought about what she had told me, especially the development of the heart murmur, the weight loss, and the dry cough and decided to ask her to do blood work before I make my decision about the surgery. I know only an Xray and other tests will show us what is inside but the blood work should at least indicate if there is anything else going on which would add to her risk factors. She is doing a wellness screen, heartworm (because it has been found much more frequently this year in this area) and thyroid function and will let me know the results on Monday.

After I get the results I will make my decision, but with the sudden appearance of the heart murmur I am more reluctant for her to have the surgery done. Saddly my instinct tells me that the risks are now too high and that I should just let her live out her life for as long as she is comfortable but I'll wait for the blood work results to make the final decision.
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  #34  
Old July 27th, 2008, 08:41 PM
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I am sooo glad I waited for the results of Pepper's blood work before acting on my urge to have her giant lipoma removed. Pepper's results came back on Friday and she is now showing signs of Kidney disease with her creatinine elevated and other kidney blood work were all not good. Her Thyroid function is also affected with her results in the below normal range. It made me almost cry to think I would have put her through major surgery only to have her die on the table. It may not have happened, but the more bad results I hear from her vet exam and blood work the more I think I would have lost her during the surgery.

We have now put her on a kidney diet and will be retesting her thyroid function in a few months. We have also added metacam for her joint pain as the previcox made her vomit with every pill. I now hope she lives a year or two with the new diet and medication and know she will be happier without major surgery to remove her lump. Yes she might live longer with the surgery, but I also might have lost her then too. I think my instincts told me that her health was not as good as what it appeared to be and I know if her blood work had come back normal I would have sent her for the surgery without hesitation. She is a lovely dog and I am going to enjoy having her with me for as long as she lives. Hopefully she won't suffer with the size of the lipoma, but in actual fact she is now more active since it has dropped down her side and she seems to be enjoying life much more.

I would like to thank Dr Lee for his opinion and help with her Giant Lipoma. Maybe if she had been mine when she was younger I would have caught the lipoma much earlier and followed up with the surgery. I have experience with older dogs having surgery as my previous dog had surgery when she was 9 and then again when she was 12 1/2. It was my gut feeling that this would go wrong right from the start that stopped me.

I went with my gut instincts when making this decision and I believe I have been rewarded with a wonderful ESS for longer than she would have lasted if I had made the decision to have her operated on. I have always tended to listen to my gut instincts and they have usually told me what I need to do.

Thanks to everyone who gave me advise for Pepper. If anyone has any experience with kidney disease in a dog, please feel free to comment.
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  #35  
Old September 18th, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Well here we go again we're back discussing surgery with my vet. Pepper had gone on an eating strike after we switched her to Hill's K/D both canned and dry and was eating very little. She seemed depressed so I started adding some homemade food and she perked up but she still wasn't eating much. She lost more weight and became almost boney so I decided to make her a homemade kidney diet, alternating between beef and chicken with rice keeping the protein and phosphorus levels in her food down.

After a week of this diet which she gobbled up because she loved it so much, I took her in to my vet for a baseline weight. She is now down to 67 lbs including the Lipoma but she has gained a few pounds after eating good food for 10 days. During the examination my vet found her heart murmur is now very mild a grade 1 to 2 at the most and she is happy and active again.

When Pepper walks now the lump moves independently from her body and is starting to affect her ability to walk properly. The great thing my vet found was that she could almost put her hands around the entire Lipoma. Her hands almost met behind the lump so she has decided that if she continues to gain a bit of weight over the next few weeks and remains happy and active, she will do the surgery to remove the lipoma! She is not going to try to get it all, but she said she will debulk it and remove as much as she can.

The only issue is whether Pepper will be able to withstand the anaesthetic, but my vet believes that we will lose her in the next few months if the surgery is not done. So we are going to take the chance as long as Pepper is still eating and healthy in a few weeks. I am really happy and excited about the fact that Pepper may be able to move around without the huge lump.

I am attaching a couple of new pictures of Pepper's Lipoma. In case you are wondering she has her toy carrot in her mouth in the first picture
Attached Images
  
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Last edited by dbg10; September 18th, 2008 at 05:38 PM. Reason: addition to post
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  #36  
Old September 18th, 2008, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg10 View Post

The great thing my vet found was that she could almost put her hands around the entire Lipoma. Her hands almost met behind the lump .
omg that is a good news ! Can you imagine her without the lump ? She will be walking on !!! Good luck to you and Pepper and please keep us posted !

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  #37  
Old September 18th, 2008, 10:19 PM
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That is good news, dgb10! More coming Pepper's way from hazel and the Pack!
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  #38  
Old September 19th, 2008, 12:49 AM
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Sending some more for Pepper
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  #39  
Old September 19th, 2008, 06:45 AM
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OMG that is huge,Pepper will be soo relieved if most of it is removed.
for a successful surgery
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  #40  
Old September 19th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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Wow!! My beagle Sherman had a tennis ball sized lipoma right in the center of his chest, between his two front legs. We used to call it his "uniboob"!!!! We had it removed once because he was very young at the time. It did eventually come back, but it was YEARS later so probably wouldn't be a concern for Pepper. Sherm lived to the ripe old age of 16 before dying of old age.....

Best of luck to you and Pepper - Pennsylvania prayers coming your way!!
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  #41  
Old September 19th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the good wishes I will definitely keep you all posted on what happens. The reason we are waiting for 4 weeks is to make sure she is eating well and active and to recheck her blood work to make sure it doesn't deteriorate.

She is such a great dog and only 11 1/2 yrs old that I don't want to lose her. The fact that the Lipoma is now getting in her way, if it isn't removed, I am afraid we will have to put her down in a few months. Actually it doesn't look like it has grown much in the last couple of months, but I think the reason it is getting in her way now is it is hanging down more and moving in the opposite direction to her body, especially when she is trying to run.

I have found the people in this forum so supportive and helpful that I hope my experiences with Pepper will help someone else.

BTW in case anyone wants to know about the kidney diet I am using for Pepper, I found the information online. There are many places online that have recipes for homemade kidney diets for both dogs and cats, but some are incomplete and not balanced. I was very cautious about the information I believed.

I did find a few diets by a vet Dr. Donald R. Strombeck, who has published a book "Home-prepared Dog and Cat Diets, The Healthful Alternative" and from what I've read his diets are all complete and well balanced. I used his recipes as the basis for her food though I modified the ingredients for her weight. I have only fed her recipes containing rice even though potato is the main starch in many of the recipes I saw. I also read a lot of information about Chronic Renal Failure in dogs and what ingredients need to be modified in their diet to treat the kidney failure.

I don't want to post the recipes I am using because I did modify them and what is good for Pepper may not be good for anyone else's dog or cat. However, I do hope this helps someone help their beloved pet. If anyone wants some links for the recipes and information I found please PM me.

Thanks again for all the support
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  #42  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Wow - that's a huge fatty tumor! I can totally see where it would be throwing her off balance and interfering with her movement.

I hope everything goes well for you and Pepper.
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  #43  
Old October 25th, 2008, 12:31 PM
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The time is finally here and Pepper is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday morning Oct 28th. The risks are quite high because lab work done on Thursday indicated that her kidneys are getting worse and she is now a bit anemic so I pray for her to make it through the anesthetic and recovery period

In the last week or so the lump has become much looser and almost seems detached from her body. She now lies on that side and believe it or not the entire lump will be behind her shoulders and back. It is moving that much around her body. When she stands it is hanging down as seen in the pictures but a little lower now. My vet thinks that it is the movement that is causing the anemia because the small blood vessels between her body and the Lipoma are breaking as it moves around which makes sense to me.

My vet is concerned about the amount of blood loss there will be but she is hoping for the best of course. She told me she wouldn't have agreed to do the surgery if she thought the results would be any different with a specialist surgeon. I feel more comfortable with her doing the surgery because I know she really cares about animals and will fight to keep her alive if anything unexpected happens during the surgery. I saw her do this with my GR when he had a stroke but there was no chance of bringing him back.

I hope you will pray for Pepper to get through the surgery and make as full a recovery as possible. My vet hopes that after the surgery Pepper will live another year.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes for her, keep your fingers crossed she will make it through. I do have good vibes about it.

I'll let everyone know as soon as I know
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  #44  
Old October 25th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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Sending prayers for your sweet Pepper. I hope the surgery is a success and her healing speedy. May you have many wonderful days ahead.
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  #45  
Old October 25th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Sending some and keeping 12 crossed plus my for a good outcome with Pepper's surgery.
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  #46  
Old October 25th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Yep, we have and lotsa dog s crossed here, too! for Tuesday!!
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  #47  
Old October 25th, 2008, 05:09 PM
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Sending lots of and for you and Pepper!
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  #48  
Old October 25th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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Lots of 's and good vibes for Pepper
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  #49  
Old October 25th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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My vet is concerned about the amount of blood loss there will be
You could give Pepper raw liver , a bit every day before and after the surgery. It will help with the blood loss.

Good luck on Tuesday I will be thinking of you both.
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  #50  
Old October 25th, 2008, 09:52 PM
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for Pepper, will be thinking of you on Tues
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  #51  
Old October 25th, 2008, 11:41 PM
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I will be thinking of you and Pepper too. Please try not to worry so much.
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  #52  
Old October 26th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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You could give Pepper raw liver , a bit every day before and after the surgery. It will help with the blood loss.

Good luck on Tuesday I will be thinking of you both.
Thanks for the idea Frenchy but unfortunately Pepper won't eat any organ meats at all. I gave her some kidney pie last spring and she turned her nose up at it. Then I gave her some liver a few weeks ago, she sniffed it, looked at me as though I was trying to poison her, then walked away from her dish. I may try again after the surgery because it is a really good way of getting rid of anemia.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes for Pepper and me
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  #53  
Old October 26th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Have you tried searing the liver lightly on both sides, dbg? Maybe she prefers it lightly cooked. If you can bring yourself to do it, after you've seared it a little, rub it lightly on your lips and pretend to chew. Then let her smell your lips. Sometimes they just need to think it's human food before they're willing to try something new.
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  #54  
Old October 28th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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I'll try that when she gets home and see if I can convince her to eat it. She is now at the vet having surgery I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well I know she is in good hands
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Old October 28th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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for Pepper today. for you. I know the wait is very stressful.
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  #56  
Old October 28th, 2008, 08:29 AM
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Good thoughts and prayers from PA coming your way........
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Old October 28th, 2008, 08:57 AM
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It has to be done... it all goes well. (((HUGS))))

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  #58  
Old October 28th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Well she's out of surgery but things are still very touch and go because she lost a lot of blood. The incision runs from her spine down to her belly with one drain at the bottom of the incision. The actual Lipoma was lighter than my vet had estimated but it still weighed 10 lbs.

My vet found that she had been right about the cause of her anemia, she found a large pocket of blood and vessels between the Lipoma and her body because as the Lipoma had pulled away, blood vessels were torn and the pocket of blood formed and Pepper had been bleeding into this pocket. We were supposed to go and pick her up between 4 and 6 pm but my vet said she now doesn't want to move her for 24 hours so Pepper will be staying the night at the vet. We may go over later to see her, but I think it is probably important not to move her or get her excited today.

So we pray and pray some more that she will make it through the night.... Pepper is now lifting her head after the surgery and seems to be holding her own.
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  #59  
Old October 28th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Now that the weight of the lipoma isn't stressing those bleeders, that they just dry up and heal! for Pepper. s for you. And s for both of you!
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Old October 28th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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Still keeping Pepper in my prayers. After a surgery like this it is best for her to remain calm, but she'll heal fast.
Keep us posted..
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