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  #1  
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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  #2  
Old November 22nd, 2009, 08:37 PM
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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, 08:37 PM
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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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Old November 22nd, 2009, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
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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  #5  
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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  #7  
Old November 23rd, 2009, 12:47 PM
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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.
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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 23rd, 2009, 02:01 PM
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I have to agree with everyone else. A lady I work with at my shelter took home a cat that had been abandoned outside the shelter last Christmas. He was an older cat, maybe 10 years old. Around late summer she noticed he was lethargic and didn't want to eat.

The shelter vet felt a huge mass in his intestines. He knew in an older cat and in the spot that it was in that it was cancer. To describe the size of the mass he said 'the size of kathryn's fist'. While I'm quite the small girl, a tumor the size of anyones fist in a cats stomach is terrible :sad:

Sadly her cat passed away no more then a month later. BUT, he wasn't in pain. He went quietly at home. While exploratory surgery and a biopsy and all that could have been done, it would have been torture for that cat.

I suggest you enjoy your remaining time with your doggy I recently had to do my own sort of hospice care on my little kitten Timmy. While I could have subjected him to more tests (which we know now would have been useless), in the end I opted not too and to just enjoy the last few days with him.

Euthanasia is a difficult subject. I feel that if an animal is really suffering then euthanasia is absolutely an option.If your dog is still hanging in there and isn't really in pain or discomfort, let her enjoy her final days at home. Make a nice meal for her and let her have a couple of her favorite treats. Buy her a fancy new toy for you both to play with It's really all you can do.
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  #9  
Old November 23rd, 2009, 03:37 PM
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blood results are in. everything is fine with excpetion to slight anemia, should be 30 & shes 28. pancreas enzymes were a concern as they are off. liver seems fine. white blood cells elevated suggesting cancer.

im torn. i chose to go with the exploratory surgery. if they cannot operate it will be around $750, plus $250 to PTS & cremation.

if the tumor can be removed it'll be $1000.

she is clearly un-comfortable. im just so torn.

i left her at the vet for the surgery but now im second guessing. is it really going to buy her much time? its a lot of money for me, that i really dont have.

i would rather euth, that way she can pass peacefully in our arms vs. on the operating table.

im just dont know what to do.

tell myself that shes 13 & had a good life. or think about what if.....

the vet seemed more hopeful but the vet tech doesnt think there is a good chance.

i hate this. i love my dog more than anything.

sorry, im just so torn & time is ticking
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  #10  
Old November 23rd, 2009, 04:08 PM
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Pitter,I don't think anyone of us can tell you what to do and we don't really know your dog.
Unfortunately the sad decision has to be made by us,there is always doubt and guilt in ending a sick pets life.:sad:
Like someone mentioned,have a heart to heart with your vet,if there is a good chance your pittie would have another year or more with surgery,I would say go for it.
But,you have to know exactly what is at stake,only your vet can tell you.
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  #11  
Old November 24th, 2009, 12:00 AM
pitter pitter is offline
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well after a weekend of going back & forth, literally.
we decided exploratory surgery was the way to go.
her blood tests showed more good than bad & in the vets experience with a positive outcome, she was a good candidate, though of course there was no telling until he got in there.

it turned out to be a mass on her spleen. it was not ruptured nor bleeding so he is leaning towards it being benign vs. the hermangiosarcoma.

i pray hes right. i pray she has a good recovery & gets to live out her days in peace.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 12:09 AM
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I hope it was just a hemangioma, pitter. Did the vet send out a sample for biopsy?

for her complete recovery!
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Old November 24th, 2009, 01:21 AM
pitter pitter is offline
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Yes he did send a piece off for biopsy. He examined her other organs & to the naked eye they show no signs of spreading cancer. I pray its hemangioma & not hemangiosarcoma. I will pray so hard.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 01:53 AM
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How long will you have to wait for the results, pitter?

Sending lots of good wishes for your girl.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 02:02 AM
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Sending many good wishes
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Old November 24th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Pitter,your girl has lots of people thinking of her and hoping for a good recovery
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Old November 24th, 2009, 06:59 AM
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I hope so too, pitter . Sending lots of her way and a for you.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by pitter View Post
it turned out to be a mass on her spleen. it was not ruptured nor bleeding so he is leaning towards it being benign vs. the hermangiosarcoma.

i pray hes right. i pray she has a good recovery & gets to live out her days in peace.
I just want to give you some words of encouragement. Think positive on this. When my little Tipper had her spleen removed, I wasn't given encouraging news and was told it would probably be cancer--it wasn't. She had the hemangioma. It puzzled the vets because she had not had a traumatic incident, her spleen just massively engorged. Tipper's blood count was around 21 and she got transfusions. Scotties are smaller dogs, but Tipper's spleen was the size of a 16 oz soda bottle. It weighed over a pound. The massive size was putting pressure on other organs keeping her from being able to eat. Since she was overweight and fluffy it was hard to see swelling like you were able to. Tipper's biopsy came back negative for cancer. I pray you will get good news as well.

Tipper was slow to heal from this, but it is a very major surgery. In our case, Tipper spent several days in an ICU hospital. Her spleen removal caused something odd to happen to her heart rhythm. I was told she was "throwing cardiac enzymes".

Since I have gone through this, I do want to offer this bit of advice. The spleen works with the immune system. I did notice that Tipper got odd, random infections during the rest of her life. Watch for this and address any signs of infection quickly. Tipper lived a little over one year following her surgery. She got bladder cancer (which my breed is sadly prone to) and the cancer medication caused her kidneys to fail. Her passing was not directly related to losing her spleen.

Good luck and I hope you get your baby home soon.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 09:55 AM
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Lots of s, s and crossed s here for a good lab report, too, pitter!
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Old November 24th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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Thank you so much. Im really glad i found this forum. I called the vet this morning & she was standing up & alert. Her color was good (pink gums).
She didnt eat this morning but I wouldnt be surprised after what she went through.

It was just a whirlwind weekend. From having her laying on her blanket next to the vet with a needle full of barbituates (sp;?) or whatever they have in that needle. Spending 4 days to say good-bye, to now... praying for a full recovery.

I love her so much. Besides the tumor there was nothing else telling me she's done. I just really believe it was not her time.

Please keep praying for her. Thank you so very much everyone.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 12:00 AM
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The pink gums and alertness are good signs.

Do you have the biopsy results yet?

Keeping her in my thoughts and prayers and hoping for a full recovery.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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no results yet.
ive been through this with my boyfriends dog so Im so skeptical. she had the hemangiosarcoma. i keep looking at her gums, pink & watching her tummy & i dont know if im just syking myself out or not when I keep thinking her tummy looks a bit more swollen then last night. my boyfriend thinks not and assured me that she might be swollen down there considering she had a 12lb tumor in there & went through a serious surgery. i just pray.

shes sore but im crating her while im at work cuz its hard to keep her on her bed. she hasnt pooped yet but i will let her out before i leave for work & on my lunch break. shes eating & drinking.

thank you all so much for the encouragement, the good vibes & prayers. i know they can work.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Pitter,that's good news,I know we all see things that might not be there,we are just overly cautious and worried,because we worry.
Is there a chance we can get to see a pic of your girl
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Old November 25th, 2009, 04:14 PM
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How is she doing tonight, pitter?

She may well have some swelling from the surgery. Unless you see much redness, oozing or a great deal of swelling, I wouldn't worry too much. Keep an eye on her gums--as you know, pale gums is a sign of anemia or internal bleeding, so if it returns, get her back to the vet asap.

Meanwhile, our s, s and crossed s continue for you and your girl! As chico says, we'd love to see pics of her when you have time!

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Old November 25th, 2009, 07:08 PM
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I couldn't agree more.

Try to stay positive and pics would be great when you get a chance.

What is her name, btw?
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Old November 26th, 2009, 04:34 PM
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*** update ***

OH MY GOSH!!!!

I am so thrilled to announce that Slinky's biopsy results have returned... BENIGN!!!!

I cannot describe how thrilled I am right now.

Im at work & I will fill you all in later.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR GOOD THOUGHTS & PRAYERS.

thank you. thank you.
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Old November 26th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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What great news, pitter!!!!!! Awesome!!!!
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Old November 26th, 2009, 04:55 PM
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Wow, I am so glad
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  #29  
Old November 26th, 2009, 10:00 PM
pitter pitter is offline
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Just got off the phone with my vet. It was a splenic hematoma, no signs of any type of tumor. Cause could have been some sort of trauma but we cannot pin point anything besides a surgery about 5 or 6 years ago. What a relief. Thank you again for your good thoughts. Im so thankful.
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Old November 26th, 2009, 10:16 PM
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for a quick recovery and many years left with your girl, pitter!
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