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Discussion Starter #1
My mother's dog was diagnosed with Grade II mast cell tumor in Aug 2007. It was on the surface of high left hind leg. Because a friends dog died after having the same type of tumor removed, she decided to treat it using homeopathic herbs. Now the tumor is the size of a baseball and it sort of dangles on the poor pups hing leg. It looks like its starting to ulcerate. The dog is in great spirits and walks OK, but sometimes its leg collapses on him.

What is the tumors progression from here? Does the tumor "explode" open or does it start to slowly bleed and then increase bleeding?

Can a vet reduce the size somehow so that the skin isn't stretched beyond its limit? (it really is the size of a baseball or even larger).

Mom's concern that the tumor will get very messy should it "explode". She is old and loves her dog and it would break her heart to put him down because the tumor was "messy". She doesn't want her dog to bleed to death in front of her either.

Any comments from what others have done would be greatly appreciated (others meaning those who elected not to have the surgury).

Thanks
Her son
 

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Not being critical..just some personal thoughts of my own..

Perhaps what one might be more concerned about is "end of life" quality. By making the decision of NOT going the full course of veterinarian treatment..ie tumour removal..your mother has removed that stress from the dogs life.

Then she is left dealing with the options left available.

The dog is at her mercy. It's tough but that's just the way it is. It might help to remind her..that there is nothing but the odds to guarantee that if she had taken a different course things would be different for very long.

Having been there..I know. I put my own girl through 2 heavy duty surgeries to stem the progress and then finally said that enough was enough. It was VERY deep and intrusive surgery and took a lot out of all concerned. It gave us more time together..she was only 3 and she lived until she was almost 6..still it was a trial.

We all live and we all die..and those are the facts. Being "messy" should have no bearing. Her concern should be for the welfare of the animal. When the bad days outweigh the good then it is time to say goodbye.

At least we have that alternative.

Best wishes to your mom. It's not an easy time.
 

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Our dog Natasha who is now gone, had a tumor on her front leg around the elbow..it became quite large and did bleed not alot, but it did start to ozze..she had it removed along with 17 teeth and came homethe same day and she did just fine. She was 10 or 11 at the time, she recovered very well. I say get it removed and the sooner the better. I have pictures, but don't know how to upload on here, but she was much better for having it taken off. What does the vet say? I know the surgery is not cheap, but u have to do what u have to do...I wish your mother luck with her dog...it just breaks my heart to hear stories about dog's that are sick, since Natasha was put to sleep 1-21-09 so it is still very painful for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We went to the vet today (my vet not hers) and they took blood and urine samples to determine if the mast cell cancer has spread. We will find out next week and then determine the best plan.

The vet re-biopsied the baseball tumor and pulled out 22 ccs of liquid. She was very surprised.

She said it would need a special surgeon as she feels the base (where it attaches to the skin) is so large that it is beyond her skills and tools. She estimates the cost around $1500 if we go that route.

The vet said that tumors do "explode" but its usually due to the cancer cells choking the blood flow to other mast cells and it basically rots. At some point it explodes (or just falls apart). She said it has been her experience that amputation typically is done at that point.

To prevent the ulcer and bleeding, put a shirt on the dog (reversed). It will act as a second skin.

Thanks for your comments folks. Stay tuned for next week.
 

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My thoughts and prayers are with you, your mom and your whole family..especially the dog...best of luck to all of you. I hope you get good news!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Folks

The doctor removed Chance's baseball sized tumor. The cost was $2100. There were hardly any roots to the tumor hence very little muscle in his leg was removed. He walked out of the vet clinic the next day wagging his tail.

We got lucky I think.

Cheers
Eddie
 

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That is just wonderful to hear!! I was wondering how things were going. Yes..a definite "ouch" on the wallet but so very worthwhile if you're able to give a loved one a fighting chance.

Thanks for not giving up!!
 

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Glad to hear it was fine. When I started to read about this, I thought, oh no this is what our old dog had. She was around twelve and they drained it. She then went into shock and to make a long story short, we had to put her down a week later (from the draining). Yay for your mom's dog. How old is the dog?
 
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