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Old November 22nd, 2009, 08:18 PM
pitter pitter is offline
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13 year old with massive growth in abdomen

So my dog has began to slow down. She is a 13 year old am. pit bull terrier. She lives at my dads & for the past few years I have always accused them of over feeding her. More recently, like the last few months, I have noticed that it is more "bloating" vs. over feeding. In august she had difficulty walking. after bringing her to the vet it was thought to be arthritis. she has been on metacam ever since.

over the past week she has gone down hill. sleeping a lot, loss of appetite & peeing more frequently.

off to the vet we go. x-ray shows a HUGE mass in her abdomen, the size of a childs soccer ball. The vet didnt recommend any sort of treatment. we were told to enjoy the next few days with her. I went to put her down on saturday. it turns out her original vet was the one to see us. he was surprised we jump to euth right away. we have since done blood tests & i will find out tomorrow.

now im expecting the blood tests to just show how her organs are functioning, rbc/wbc counts etc. im not expecting to know where this tumor is attached or if its malignant.

my bf had a dog 3 years ago go through a similar situation, where the mass was attached to the spleen, for which they did not know until surgery. it turned out to be hemangiosarcoma & she died 2 weeks later.

my vet doesnt think its the spleen due to the size but again said he will not know until exploratory surgery.

is there any other way that is less invasive to determine what kind of tumor & or where?

has anyone been through a similar situation?

Last edited by pitter; November 22nd, 2009 at 08:23 PM. Reason: posted too soon.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 08:37 PM
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growler~GateKeeper growler~GateKeeper is offline
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The only other way that I know of is a needle biopsy, where they insert a needle into the mass & withdraw some cells/fluids from it and then test that to see if it is cancerous or not. That however will not tell what it the mass is attached to or if it is easily removeable. The other issue with doing a needle biopsy on the mass being where it is, the vet would need a very clear position of the mass so he would know that is what he is taking a sample from and not sampling from an organ. Needle biopsies are generally done on masses closer to or on the skin.

sending good wishes
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 08:39 PM
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Frenchy Frenchy is offline
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Originally Posted by growler View Post
The only other way that I know of is a needle biopsy,
When they can tell from a needle biopsy , that's great but sometimes they have to take out tissues , Sam had that kind of biopsy and it's as hard on a dog as a surgery.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 12:52 AM
pitter pitter is offline
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thanks for the info. Im just torn. I mean if it wasnt for this tumor she would have the quality of life. If it was removed with no complications she would go back to being ok. i would go for the surgery if it was a good chance but I hate not knowing. i dont really have the spare cash but if they could tell me she's just an operation away then Id be OK with spending the money. Man this SUCKS!

in all honesty i hope her bloodwork comes back with results that determine the outcome if you know what I mean.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 01:05 AM
paisleypearl paisleypearl is offline
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Do not have the surgery done

I recently went through the same thing, I found a lump on my dogs stomach, the vet convinced me to remove it without telling me of any risks whatsoever and there are many as I found out and long story short, he caused the cancer to spread by not successfully removing it all and I had to euthanize my dog 5 days later. Your dog is 13 yrs old, that is a good life, just let it enjoy the rest of it until the quality of life goes downhill. If you have this surgery, it will kill your dog that much faster. My heart goes out to you. God bless
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 12:47 PM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
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Pitter, my heart aches for you. The blood work can show if the tumor is affecting organs such as the liver and kidneys. The bloodwork can also tell your vet if your dog is even a candidate for surgery. X-rays and ultrasounds can be done to see if a cancer has spread (to check lungs, heart, liver, etc.) Ultrasound may be able to pinpoint the tumor location (in my cases it did.)

It all comes down to your dog's quality of life. Even if you had an unlimited supply of money, there are some things sadly that just can't be fixed. After you get the bloodwork back, please talk to your vet. You were already planning to let her go. Really have a heart-to-heart talk with your vet and find out what you need to look for at the end of life. You don't want to let her linger in pain, but you also want her to live her final days/weeks/months to her best. Treasure every moment. Sending your girl (and you) many prayers.
My history with this: one 10-year-old Scottie had emergency spleen removal (not cancer) and had one year after surgery. She had multiple health issues, surgery for bladder cancer and the cancer meds through her into irreversible kidney failure. We put her through too much--I am still guilt-ridden. Our other Scottie was 14 1/2 and went off his food. We addressed a dental issue, but he didn't get better. Blood work (which was great 2 weeks earlier) showed liver enzymes too high to measure; ultra sound revealed large mass in liver. We sadly let him go. It was hard, but my heart is at ease knowing we didn't force him to linger and suffer.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 08:37 PM
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Frenchy Frenchy is offline
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I had a 13 yr old dog that had a mass on her bone. She would have needed a biopsy (not from needle as Growler mentioned but from surgery , she would have needed to be opened up) even if the vets thought it was 90% chances it was cancer. I didn't go through with it. I think a 13 yr old dog should just enjoy time they have left , and the owner should monitor very close to see if the dog is suffering , so they won't prolong the dog's life.

I know this isn't much advice for you :sad: I would wait for the results and ask for your vet's opinion. Good luck.
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