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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I just joined this forum to see if I could find information about the lump on my dog's right rear hock joint.

My dog's name is Kelly, and she developed a small bump on her "ankle" (hock joint, to be technical) in late March. She saw the vet on 04/01, and the vet said that it didn't seem to bother her but to keep an eye on it. Now it is mid-May and the lump has turned golf-ball size, and she has developed three additional lumps on the other side of the same joint. She still walks, runs, plays and eats, just like normal, but occasionally, when she is standing still, she does lift that leg in the air off and on. I have a pic of her leg but it is awful to look at.

We have a vet appointment for her on 05/26. My best guess is that these are Mast Cell tumors. I have no idea how we are going to afford diagnostic testing OR treatment for her. I am scared to death. I just love this dog so much. I have been researching this growth since the minute I saw it and I would love to be wrong about what it is, but I'm pretty sure I'm correct. Has anyone else's pet gone through this?

Thanks for reading!
 

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Well, we don't have much to go off of with the post. I'm sorry for you and your dog - I know that queasiness when you're anticipating a vet bill you just can't afford. I recently went through a situation with my dog where the vet recommended surgery, but it was way over budget. There was an option to let it heal itself and have her on some meds instead while it healed and it worked out for the best, but it was a long road. My vet offers payment plans as well, so when there are those emergencies that cost thousands, at least there are options. Ask your vet about it if it comes to it.

As far as diagnosis, if you could post the picture it would help. I know there are some vets on this forum, but really, all we can do is speculate. Still, it is nice to have it documented on the forum so maybe one day someone with the same question can google it and find this thread.
 

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I'm sure there are some members who have dealt with similar issues, but there's really nothing more that we can recommend other than wait and see what the vet finds. Sorry you are going through this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both for your responses. I've attached a photo taken today. It looks even more swollen today than it did yesterday. I'm just so upset.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The vet did not indicate her thoughts on what the swelling might be. She did prescribe an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory and pain medication. The next step will be xrays and a biopsy, as soon as we come up with the money to pay for them!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for your response.
Neither of those are an option.
I already checked!
But thank you again!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Kelly now has appointment for a biopsy and x-rays on Monday, 06/08/15.
Whatever this growth is, I hope it is benign!
 

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My dog has Mast Cell Cancer, we asked to have the tumor surgically removed and tested for certainty - that's how he was diagnosed.
At my vet, the surgery cost about $600 and he will have another in the future estimated to cost about $800 as it is more extensive.

Toby was diagnosed in August last year and is turning 3 this October. He was in stage 1, so his prognosis is good so long as the tumors don't decide to spread. His cancer is located in his hind leg and doesn't affect him in any way. He still does at-home agility runs and still works on just-for-fun titles in preparation for our "one day" goals. In fact unless people ask about health problems within his "breed" - I forget he has cancer at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you. The vet said that the x-ray was unclear, and she could not tell what was going on by that. She doesn't know if the bone is deteriorated or occluded. The biopsy will be back either tomorrow or the following day, but it doesn't look good.

Boston Bull Mama - what did Toby's cancer look like? Did they do x-rays? I'm looking for similarities to find some hope to hold onto!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The vet called and said the the biopsy showed Mesenchymal Proliferation Tumors, and that the could not give me a more definitive answer unless they did a debulking surgery, which would cost another $1000. She said that these tumors are probably cancerous, but we don't know for sure just yet. She said that if the tumors are cancerous, she would need chemo and or radiation. Basically, I really don't know any more than I did when I first started, while my dog limps, and my bank account has 451 fewer dollars. I do not have $1000, but I'm applying for various grants to help. I'm sad for my sweet dog.
 

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We did not opt for x-rays when having Toby's "lump" looked at. I had been told "oh it's probably a cyst" repeatedly but I did not like how it felt and my general instinct was to have it sent for a biopsy.

Since I was skipping xrays and knew before hand that aspiration via needle may not give conclusive results, I told them I wanted the mass surgically removed and biopsy'd. We had the results in about a week if memory serves me right. But my vet had called me before then and we discussed her findings at length. She even saved the lump for me to look at before sending it to biopsy ;)

With Toby's cancer, management is as simple as repeat surgeries. So far his second surgery has been delayed again because there has been no regrowth since his first surgery and my vet needs regrowth to be able to get as much of the tentacles stemming off the tumor as possible. No tumor means no 'lead' which means she would basically be going in blindly.

My cat is having a $1000 surgery in the next few weeks for Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (a common periodontal disease in cats). Even when you're broke as hell, there is a way to get the finances necessary for the important things. For me - my animals definitely take some priority in my life and when I know there's something wrong with them I do everything in my power to fix it. We were able to raise the funds necessary by selling items we no longer needed. I've always said 'where there's a will, there's a way' and I understand that some people may not be as "animal crazy" as I am - but if this is important to you, you will find a way :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My dog, Kelly, is extremely important to me and I am actively searching for financial assistance to get the debulking surgery.
 
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