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Discussion Starter #1
i am looking for some suggestions as to what to do here.. i took the dog in to the vet for a lump on her neck, doctor says it may be an inflamed lymph node caused by cancer in her blood.. they want $500 to test if this is true and if true, what then? chemo? i heard this costs many thousands of dollars, i cannot afford that, and she is 13.

it seems like theres no point in paying the $500 for the test because if its true, i learn nothing new, cannot afford the treatment, and she dies soon anyway, and if i dont, then she doesnt.. it seems like the test would make absolutely no difference in the end, what do you guys think?
 

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I would ask your vet what you just asked the internet. You will not be their first client who has been in this situation or asked those questions.

There are reasons I could think of why getting the test done would be a good option, regardless of whether or not you can afford chemo if it is cancer (a confirmed diagnosis may open up less expensive palliative care plans that they will not prescribe without a diagnosis; such as steroids and/or pain medication, which could extend her quality of life).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
the vet basically said the same thing, that the biopsy wont change anything, and that chemo probably wouldnt even help.. so im not going to put her through the pain and fear of going in for surgery, and make her as comfortable as i can, and prepare for the inevitable.. i'm going to feed her more of her favorite foods and treats, and try some dietary options.. but it's just her time to join her sister who died 2 years ago, and my parents who died the year, and two years before that (her original owners)
 

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That's basically the advice my vet gave me when my old girl started having serious seizures last year. We did bloodwork and a few other basic tests to rule out common causes, and the next step would have been scanning for brain or CNS tumors. He asked, if we found a tumor, would you want to attempt aggressive treatment at her age? (She was 16.) I said that no, I'd rather just make her comfortable for the time she has left. So he said, let's just do that now, then, and skip the tests.

I think it was the right choice, as at some point you have to weigh quality of life versus length of life. And financial concerns are valid as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
my dogs not that old, but still, going to a foreign place, being drugged, cut up, the pain of recovery for something that isnt going to change the outcome doesnt seem like something she should go through
 

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If I were in this situation, I'd find another Vet for a 2nd opinion.

The Vet seems to offer an "Off the Cuff" diagnosis for a lump on the dog's neck. This could be almost anything from an impacted gland to a sebaceous cyst or as the vet diagnosed.

$500 seems a bit stiff for a biopsy.

I had blood work done on my dog to verify the existence of heartworms. Blood was taken, shipped to Germany from China to a qualified lab. I got the results in 10 days for a cost of $135 USD.

I would urge a 2nd opinion.
 

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In my previous post I didn't mean to imply that you should pursue aggressive treatment. I assumed the test you were referring to is a biopsy? Which is not a major surgery and has a very short recovery time (usually just a few hours). It is performed under general anasthesia so it isn't without risk, but it's not like she would have a long hard recovery. I had a dog with lymphoma at just 4 years old and with prednisone she was happy go lucky and loving life for about 9 months after her diagnosis, whereas she would have had a much shorter time without the steroids.

Financial concerns are definitely valid and you shouldn't feel obligated at all to do the procedure regardless of whether or not your vet thinks prednisone might keep her going longer. Prednisone itself has some side effects that aren't pleasant - when we let our dog go, it was due to the side effects of the prednisone becoming too much, so it was no longer a alid treatment option for her. Still, it bought us time. I am totally on board with not running expensive procedures when even if you find something it won't alter the course of treatment - but steroids might be able to buy you some time, if you want, if your vet thinks it is appropraite. I am not a vet, this is just my experience from a similar situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
shes already 13, over the life expectancy for her breed, im not sure how much time could actually be gained.. and she's currently taking anti-biotics since saturday
 

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Discussion Starter #10
after talking to the vet, we basically put her on medication to fight infection in case thats what it is, and to make her more comfortable in case it isnt, so she's on the steroids in case it is cancer, and its what they'd have put her on anyway since they say chemo probably wouldnt work, and also antibiotics, pain relievers, etc, so both possibilities are being covered

now, it could just be my imagination, but it feels like her swollen lymph nodes may have actually gotten smaller, however, the only thing we can get her to eat is peanut butter, and canned fish.. i mixed peanut butter with flour to make it into a dough, then crush up her meds and add it to a ball of that and feed it to her, and got canned mackerel so she's eating something
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well, she's gotten worse, and will no longer even eat anything at all, not even treats, peanut butter, or chicken pieces.. she still acts like herself in wanting attention and wagging her tail, but hasnt eaten in days.. i think its the end for her though, i dont know when the time is to start thinking about having her put down
 
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