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Hi peeps, new member with difficult decisions to make. I have a 12yo collie X called Ty, he has had a heart murmur since I rescued him at 8 yrs which has worsened over time but never been a problem for him. It started as a 2/3 but is now a 4/5.

Recently he has developed a lump on the back of his foreleg just above the joint, so off to the vets we went, expecting (hoping) it to be a cyst or something simple. No such luck though it's a cancer. My vet felt that he is strong enough for surgery but felt a specialist would be a better option for him because of his murmur and the location of the tumor which is on all the tendons and ligaments.

We took him to the specialist who went through all the options and decided to leave him there for tests and surgery. Got a call next morning to say that they had done an ultrasound on his heart and that he has significant mitral valve regurgitation and moderate congestive heart failure as well as the 4/5 murmur. He has been sent home to stabilize on new meds and to return in 2 weeks for surgery.

I need to point out that even now he is still very active and alert with no visible signs of discomfort from either problem. I'm disabled and have a mobility scooter and the dogs run alongside me for miles, this is why his heart condition has come as such a shock. They have estimated that he only has 3-9 months if we don't op, but they can't put a time frame on his heart.

So my quandary is risk losing him under the op, or let it run it's course till his quality of life starts to suffer. Any advice is welcome, he is booked in next week but I'm having second thoughts

Sp00ky
 

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With his age, even if he didn't have any problems, it will still be hard on him.

If I were you, I'd just bring him home and let him be happy till he starts to feel bad.
 

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Did they say how long he'd have if you do the surgery and he gets through it? If it's 9 months without the surgery and 1 year with, I wouldn't do it. If it's 9 months without the surgery and 2 years with it, I'd be inclined to do it since he's otherwise active and alert.
 

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If you don't want to do the surgery, bring him home and love him until it's time to let him go. Give him a gentle hug from a stranger.
 

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I would think that with the CHF, he would need to be put down before the tumor on his leg would kill him. I wouldn't do the surgery if the vet said his life expectency was less than a yr even with the surgery.
 

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Many, many dogs with mitral valve disease and well-managed CHF do very well for significant periods of time and most tolerate anesthesia with little problem with proper selection of the specific drugs. But the type of cancer matters, like others my question would be what my expectation for the lump removal would be - is it just to buy a few months, or would it be considered curative?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your honest opinions. Have spoken to my vet about the specialists options as he knows Ty better. He feel his chances are quite good, even with the extra problems.
This is on the basis that he is still extremely active, runs up to 3 miles a day with no adverse signs of discomfort ( coughing or panting). He said he could make no promises but he could have a couple or MORE :D good years if these new meds do their job. He also said that I had to accept it could go the other way they are not easy diagnosis to put a time frame on. He also pointed out he could have had these conditions for some time as we have not had an ultrasound done before.
Anyway long story short I put him on the spot and said if it was your dog what option would you take. "No hesitation I would op, the possibility of a few years as opposed to a few months of discomfort then loss." He added that Ty sailed through his last op a couple of years back with no problems.
If he was a crochety old thing I wouldn't be considering any course of action except cuddle therapy!
So he is booked in on Wed, with the proviso that he is x-rayed under light sedation for other masses and a biopsy of the lymph node to make sure that this tumor isn't a secondary from a lung kidney or liver. They are also bringing in a specialist anesthetist for the main op if it goes ahead.
I have said that any other masses is a no go and I think he is to old to lose a leg. So I will let you know how it all goes either way.
Thanks for your support and good wishes,
Sp00ky:wave: and Ty
ty crop.jpg
 
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