A little surgery schedled

remy3424

Active member
My soon to be 13 year old GSP has a "lump" behind his front leg. It seems to be in his skin, not attached to the ribs. It is half the size of half a sofball or grapefruit. The vet says she can take a sample and look at it in the office, biopsy it and send it to a lab to see what it might be....or....we could just remove it, "if you don't like lookin at it". Really threw a selfish tone into it. It doesn't seem to bother him, I think her concern is his age and the anesthesia. Over the last, maybe 18 months, this has been growing and now feels pretty solid under the skin. I just think it will become an issue, sooner than later, if left. Any thoughts, or similar experences with "experienced" dogs?
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
Tough call with a 13 year old dog. I wouldn't bother to biopsy it and pay to have it sent to a lab. Regardless of whether it's cancer or not you probably won't go to great lengths to treat it. If it bothers you, or the dog, I'd have it removed knowing the risk of surgery on a dog this age. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

Chestle

Active member
My 16 YO lab has a lump on her rib cage right behind the left shoulder. Started small 5-6 years ago. Baseball size now. Not hard kinda soft.

She’s out of a litter my vet hunting partner had. He’s seen her in SD every year and said it was not worth bothering with. Local vets have said the same thing.

Definitely not going to do surgery on her at this age.

Hope you get a good result though.
 

david0311

Active member
My soon to be 13 year old GSP has a "lump" behind his front leg. It seems to be in his skin, not attached to the ribs. It is half the size of half a sofball or grapefruit. The vet says she can take a sample and look at it in the office, biopsy it and send it to a lab to see what it might be....or....we could just remove it, "if you don't like lookin at it". Really threw a selfish tone into it. It doesn't seem to bother him, I think her concern is his age and the anesthesia. Over the last, maybe 18 months, this has been growing and now feels pretty solid under the skin. I just think it will become an issue, sooner than later, if left. Any thoughts, or similar experences with "experienced" dogs?
Based on her attitude —I would be getting a new vet—
Me—I would have it removed and have biopsy done—by a different vet!
 
I agree with Dakotazed. I had a lump removed on an old dog and had it biopsied . It was cancer but the vet got good margins and the dog made it hunting for a couple more years. Good luck.
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
Removing any growth before the cancer spreads (into the lymph system) is probably a good idea. I would indeed biopsy it !

My vet has a pre-surgery blood screen that helps understand if the dog is healthy enough for surgery.
 

Chestle

Active member
All the vets that have checked my 16 YO have palpitated it and said it was a "fatty lipoma". "A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that's most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer. (Mayo clinic) " None said a biopsy was needed, none recommended surgery.

So ~5 years into it, she's still chugging along.

YMMV.
 

remy3424

Active member
Well, had the mass taken off yesterday, sounded like it was just a fatty growth. I thought it would be a non-issue for the dog...wrong,he was a mess. The mass was just inside the skin it seemed, not attached to muscle/bone. He struggled using the front leg with a lot of pain. Slept with me and wined and cried until about 3:30, at that point I carried him outside, after he stood around for 10 minutes, he then limped around, did all his business limped back into the house and went to his crate until about 6:30. At this point, he is walking better and it looks like things are improving quicker now. Was a little concerned for him last night and trust tonight I will get some sleep.
 

Jet

Member
Well, had the mass taken off yesterday, sounded like it was just a fatty growth. I thought it would be a non-issue for the dog...wrong,he was a mess. The mass was just inside the skin it seemed, not attached to muscle/bone. He struggled using the front leg with a lot of pain. Slept with me and wined and cried until about 3:30, at that point I carried him outside, after he stood around for 10 minutes, he then limped around, did all his business limped back into the house and went to his crate until about 6:30. At this point, he is walking better and it looks like things are improving quicker now. Was a little concerned for him last night and trust tonight I will get some sleep.
Hopefully you and the pup have a speedy recovery.
 

remy3424

Active member
Thanks Jet. We both got a good night's rest last night. He seems to be on the fast road to recovery now. Seems to be some fluid built-up under the skin in his chest area, that has to be expected, but the pain has diminished as he is moving much better now. I think we will be good, maybe a couple more seasons left in him!
 

Jet

Member
Remy,
Now that some time has passed and I’m assuming your pup has recovered I have a question. Knowing what you do now would you make the decision to cut it out again or leave it?
I ask because one of my dogs has something similar for the last couple years and my vet says to leave it. I of course worry and my wife even more so but I don’t want to do unnecessary things either.
 

remy3424

Active member
Still in recovery, seems to be retaining a lot of fluid, the skin on his underside is sagging and seem to working into his legs...I am thinking he needs a type of diuretic to help pull some of this out. Yes, I would do it again, the mass was growing and was bigger than a half of a grapefruit. Just be prepared to give the dog a lot of attention in the first days after. Mine fought the cone-of-shame, so we just put a youth sized tee shirt on him....being a male, had to tie-up the bottom so he can pee and not mess the shirt....no licking the incision site.
 

Jet

Member
So far mine isn’t nearly that big. Only maybe the size of half a golf ball and hopefully it stays that way.
they may need to put a drain in to keep the fluid out. A particularly bad run in with a fence several years ago had the same issue after being stitched up and we had to go back to put a drain in. I also went the tied shirt route instead of the cone. Worked out fairly well.
good luck with the continuing recovery.
 
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