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Why Would You Let a Tumor Get Like This?

2010 August 10
little black dog

A Huge, Ugly Tumor Ruptured Open, Required Surgery

Every nurse in the animal hospital, and each nursing assistant looked shocked, as they saw this tumor in turn, and asked Doc Truli,

“Why did they let that tumor get like that?”

Do you want to see the disgusting lump?  If you do, read further.  If you really don’t, VirtuaVet has lots of pretty stories for you on other posts!

huge ugly tumor on a dog's belly

huge ugly tumor

The Dog Lump Lottery

You may have one of those types of bumps on your dog now.  You know, the lump that’s been there a while, the vet looked at it a year or more ago and thought it was okay, your dog is a  little elderly, the money’s a little tight for frivolous surgery “just to be safe.” You know, probably millions of pet dogs have one, two, or ten of these lumps now while you are reading this.

It’s like a lump lottery.  You hope you choose right.  You hope everything will be okay.  Usually it works out.

You Lose The Lump Lottery If the Lump Changes

Only once in a while, a lump changes.  It grows suddenly, or opens up, gets scraped, or ulcerates (a fancy word for the surface coming off and the dog gutsy stuff underneath getting exposed.)

Tru Tip

“If the skin stays intact over a lump, then the immune system can keep out everyday infections.  Once that skin breaks open, for whatever reason, infection can set in.  Because the lump is not normal body tissue, infections can take hold and never go away, no matter how strong the antibiotic medication.  And, the skin over the lump will not heal like normal skin.  You’re almost always facing a surgery to keep quality or life and good household hygiene,” says Doc Truli.

Bailey, the Lab Mix’s, Lump Surgery

Bailey (the carrier of this particular shocking lump) underwent some surgery to remove the offensive bump.

post lumpectomy suture line on a dog

Pretty suture line sure beats ugly bump!

The resulting suture line sure looked better than the original lump!

Doc Truli performed the surgery on the cheap.  For VirtuaVet, this means no histopathology to test what the lump was.  Mom’s philosophy was, “I’m not going to do anything about it if it’s cancer, so why spend the extra money?”

If you cannot afford a whole surgery, do not skimp on safety and comfort measures, like intravenous fluids and pre-operative laboratory testing and post-operative painkillers, unless your veterinarian advises you they are not needed.  Doc Truli believes knowledge truly is power, so the added cost of the histopathology can give gains and insight in the future that cannot be anticipated today.  True, they are theoretical benefits, but if you can, follow your veterinarian’s advice!

the tan lumpy cut surface section of the mix-breed labrador's skin tumor

The tumor cut in half. The doctor still cannot diagnose the tumor just on the looks of it!

This soft white to tan fatty-looking tumor had round areas of white material in it.  Hopefully, it is a lipoma (a fatty tumor).  But it could be lymphoma, mammary cancer (even on a boy, they have mammary tissue, too), or many other kinds of cancer.

Bailey is 15 years old and his mom felt like he was lucky to have made it this far!  She’s not too worried about another tumor at his age.

He pulled through the surgery just fine.  The huge Elizabethan collar prevented Bailey from chewing at his suture line.  Over the years, Doc Truli learned not to trust Bailey with sutures.  But that’s a story for another day!

P.S.  VirtuaVet’s Lump or Bump TAG will give you a big list of posts about other lumps and pictures.  Let us know if we’ve helped you help your dog with inspirational stories or information!

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