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Lumps-Opinions



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 28th 03, 03:58 PM
alie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Lumps-Opinions

Hi...

I have a 11 year old female German Shepherd. I took her to have her
yearly check-up in mid-May. No lumps were found then. Then my husband
noticed a couple of bumps and took her in to have them checked out.
Then during that visit the vet assistant found a 3rd lump. One is under
her front left leg in the pit area. The 2nd lump is between her
shoulder blades and they think that may just be from her shots in May.
The third lump is on the inside of the back right leg. They want to
wait 3 weeks so they can see how the lump between her shoulder blades
feels. At that time, she will go in for surgery to have either 2 or 3
lumps removed. I plan to have those sent out for testing to make sure
of what they are. I have a few questions that I thought I'd ask the
group before I bring them up to the vet.

First question: Well from reading some archives at google, it seems that
lumps in old dogs can be a common thing so how do you decide how many to
have taken out surgically? I'm concerned that she is going to have 3
areas with stitches and that it will take her a long time to heal from
that. Then what if I find 2 more in six months... do I have those
taken out and then she will have to heal from those as well?

Do vets normally suggest going the surgical route over the biopsy route?
The reason I question this is because the surgery will be lumped with a
teeth cleaning and such.

I want to do what is best for my dog so I'm looking for opinions. I'm
definitely considering going to a different vet for another look.

Thanks for any insight you may have.

Alie


  #2  
Old July 28th 03, 04:23 PM
ZPL
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In my experience, most of these "lumps" are fatty benign growths. Although
I know the concern about the one between the shoulder blades is a good
concern to have.

The lump I would be most concerned about is the one in the "arm pit" watch
that one. With all of the nerves and vessels in the armpit, if it gets too
swollen, the circulation and drainage of the front leg can be compromised.
The leg will swell, etc. Cosmetic stuff is one thing (we love them lumps
bumps and all), but comfort and function can be something else.

Those things can get pretty big, too. If you do chose to go ahead and get
them removed, best to do it while they are small, before they have a chance
to grow into the muscles and surrounding tissue.

"alie" wrote in message
. ..
Hi...

I have a 11 year old female German Shepherd. I took her to have her
yearly check-up in mid-May. No lumps were found then. Then my husband
noticed a couple of bumps and took her in to have them checked out.
Then during that visit the vet assistant found a 3rd lump. One is under
her front left leg in the pit area. The 2nd lump is between her
shoulder blades and they think that may just be from her shots in May.
The third lump is on the inside of the back right leg. They want to
wait 3 weeks so they can see how the lump between her shoulder blades
feels. At that time, she will go in for surgery to have either 2 or 3
lumps removed. I plan to have those sent out for testing to make sure
of what they are. I have a few questions that I thought I'd ask the
group before I bring them up to the vet.

First question: Well from reading some archives at google, it seems that
lumps in old dogs can be a common thing so how do you decide how many to
have taken out surgically? I'm concerned that she is going to have 3
areas with stitches and that it will take her a long time to heal from
that. Then what if I find 2 more in six months... do I have those
taken out and then she will have to heal from those as well?

Do vets normally suggest going the surgical route over the biopsy route?
The reason I question this is because the surgery will be lumped with a
teeth cleaning and such.

I want to do what is best for my dog so I'm looking for opinions. I'm
definitely considering going to a different vet for another look.

Thanks for any insight you may have.

Alie




  #3  
Old July 28th 03, 04:23 PM
ZPL
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In my experience, most of these "lumps" are fatty benign growths. Although
I know the concern about the one between the shoulder blades is a good
concern to have.

The lump I would be most concerned about is the one in the "arm pit" watch
that one. With all of the nerves and vessels in the armpit, if it gets too
swollen, the circulation and drainage of the front leg can be compromised.
The leg will swell, etc. Cosmetic stuff is one thing (we love them lumps
bumps and all), but comfort and function can be something else.

Those things can get pretty big, too. If you do chose to go ahead and get
them removed, best to do it while they are small, before they have a chance
to grow into the muscles and surrounding tissue.

"alie" wrote in message
. ..
Hi...

I have a 11 year old female German Shepherd. I took her to have her
yearly check-up in mid-May. No lumps were found then. Then my husband
noticed a couple of bumps and took her in to have them checked out.
Then during that visit the vet assistant found a 3rd lump. One is under
her front left leg in the pit area. The 2nd lump is between her
shoulder blades and they think that may just be from her shots in May.
The third lump is on the inside of the back right leg. They want to
wait 3 weeks so they can see how the lump between her shoulder blades
feels. At that time, she will go in for surgery to have either 2 or 3
lumps removed. I plan to have those sent out for testing to make sure
of what they are. I have a few questions that I thought I'd ask the
group before I bring them up to the vet.

First question: Well from reading some archives at google, it seems that
lumps in old dogs can be a common thing so how do you decide how many to
have taken out surgically? I'm concerned that she is going to have 3
areas with stitches and that it will take her a long time to heal from
that. Then what if I find 2 more in six months... do I have those
taken out and then she will have to heal from those as well?

Do vets normally suggest going the surgical route over the biopsy route?
The reason I question this is because the surgery will be lumped with a
teeth cleaning and such.

I want to do what is best for my dog so I'm looking for opinions. I'm
definitely considering going to a different vet for another look.

Thanks for any insight you may have.

Alie




  #4  
Old July 28th 03, 05:03 PM
Alison Smiley Perera
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
"ZPL" wrote:

In my experience, most of these "lumps" are fatty benign growths. Although
I know the concern about the one between the shoulder blades is a good
concern to have.

The lump I would be most concerned about is the one in the "arm pit" watch
that one. With all of the nerves and vessels in the armpit, if it gets too
swollen, the circulation and drainage of the front leg can be compromised.
The leg will swell, etc. Cosmetic stuff is one thing (we love them lumps
bumps and all), but comfort and function can be something else.

Those things can get pretty big, too. If you do chose to go ahead and get
them removed, best to do it while they are small, before they have a chance
to grow into the muscles and surrounding tissue.

"alie" wrote in message
. ..
Hi...

I have a 11 year old female German Shepherd. I took her to have her
yearly check-up in mid-May. No lumps were found then. Then my husband
noticed a couple of bumps and took her in to have them checked out.
Then during that visit the vet assistant found a 3rd lump. One is under
her front left leg in the pit area. The 2nd lump is between her
shoulder blades and they think that may just be from her shots in May.
The third lump is on the inside of the back right leg. They want to
wait 3 weeks so they can see how the lump between her shoulder blades
feels. At that time, she will go in for surgery to have either 2 or 3
lumps removed. I plan to have those sent out for testing to make sure
of what they are. I have a few questions that I thought I'd ask the
group before I bring them up to the vet.

First question: Well from reading some archives at google, it seems that
lumps in old dogs can be a common thing so how do you decide how many to
have taken out surgically? I'm concerned that she is going to have 3
areas with stitches and that it will take her a long time to heal from
that. Then what if I find 2 more in six months... do I have those
taken out and then she will have to heal from those as well?

Do vets normally suggest going the surgical route over the biopsy route?
The reason I question this is because the surgery will be lumped with a
teeth cleaning and such.

I want to do what is best for my dog so I'm looking for opinions. I'm
definitely considering going to a different vet for another look.


FWIW, the vet I worked with was quite conservative. He tended to
evaluate lumps on old dogs by feel. If it felt like a lipoma, or fatty
tumor, then he'd let it go and watch for it to either grow too quickly
(implying it wasn't a fatty tumor at all) or impede the dog's daily
activity (like the large one on a little Schnauzer's armpit that
prevented that leg from moving normally).

If the vet is suggesting surgery, presumably he's made that initial
evaluation (lipomas feel quite characteristically soft and encapsulated)
and is concerned enough to take the next step. He may as well get the
whole thing in one surgery instead of sedating the dog, removing a core,
sewing the dog back up, sending the core in, finding out it's bad news
and the whole thing needs to be excised, and having to cut into the dog
again.

(To the OP) By the way, why is your 11 year old GSD still getting
vaccinations? What diseases, exactly, are you afraid she'll get? The
breed is prone to immune problems and too many vaccinations--did you
know that one distemper vaccine lasts over 7 years?--can promote such
problems. I'm pretty sure that there is some correlation between skin
swellings at the injection site and other abnormal immune responses to
the vaccine.

-Alison in OH
  #5  
Old July 28th 03, 05:03 PM
Alison Smiley Perera
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
"ZPL" wrote:

In my experience, most of these "lumps" are fatty benign growths. Although
I know the concern about the one between the shoulder blades is a good
concern to have.

The lump I would be most concerned about is the one in the "arm pit" watch
that one. With all of the nerves and vessels in the armpit, if it gets too
swollen, the circulation and drainage of the front leg can be compromised.
The leg will swell, etc. Cosmetic stuff is one thing (we love them lumps
bumps and all), but comfort and function can be something else.

Those things can get pretty big, too. If you do chose to go ahead and get
them removed, best to do it while they are small, before they have a chance
to grow into the muscles and surrounding tissue.

"alie" wrote in message
. ..
Hi...

I have a 11 year old female German Shepherd. I took her to have her
yearly check-up in mid-May. No lumps were found then. Then my husband
noticed a couple of bumps and took her in to have them checked out.
Then during that visit the vet assistant found a 3rd lump. One is under
her front left leg in the pit area. The 2nd lump is between her
shoulder blades and they think that may just be from her shots in May.
The third lump is on the inside of the back right leg. They want to
wait 3 weeks so they can see how the lump between her shoulder blades
feels. At that time, she will go in for surgery to have either 2 or 3
lumps removed. I plan to have those sent out for testing to make sure
of what they are. I have a few questions that I thought I'd ask the
group before I bring them up to the vet.

First question: Well from reading some archives at google, it seems that
lumps in old dogs can be a common thing so how do you decide how many to
have taken out surgically? I'm concerned that she is going to have 3
areas with stitches and that it will take her a long time to heal from
that. Then what if I find 2 more in six months... do I have those
taken out and then she will have to heal from those as well?

Do vets normally suggest going the surgical route over the biopsy route?
The reason I question this is because the surgery will be lumped with a
teeth cleaning and such.

I want to do what is best for my dog so I'm looking for opinions. I'm
definitely considering going to a different vet for another look.


FWIW, the vet I worked with was quite conservative. He tended to
evaluate lumps on old dogs by feel. If it felt like a lipoma, or fatty
tumor, then he'd let it go and watch for it to either grow too quickly
(implying it wasn't a fatty tumor at all) or impede the dog's daily
activity (like the large one on a little Schnauzer's armpit that
prevented that leg from moving normally).

If the vet is suggesting surgery, presumably he's made that initial
evaluation (lipomas feel quite characteristically soft and encapsulated)
and is concerned enough to take the next step. He may as well get the
whole thing in one surgery instead of sedating the dog, removing a core,
sewing the dog back up, sending the core in, finding out it's bad news
and the whole thing needs to be excised, and having to cut into the dog
again.

(To the OP) By the way, why is your 11 year old GSD still getting
vaccinations? What diseases, exactly, are you afraid she'll get? The
breed is prone to immune problems and too many vaccinations--did you
know that one distemper vaccine lasts over 7 years?--can promote such
problems. I'm pretty sure that there is some correlation between skin
swellings at the injection site and other abnormal immune responses to
the vaccine.

-Alison in OH
  #6  
Old July 28th 03, 05:09 PM
montana
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
alie wrote:

One is under
her front left leg in the pit area. The 2nd lump is between her
shoulder blades and they think that may just be from her shots in May.
The third lump is on the inside of the back right leg. They want to
wait 3 weeks so they can see how the lump between her shoulder blades
feels. At that time, she will go in for surgery to have either 2 or 3
lumps removed. I plan to have those sent out for testing to make sure
of what they are. I have a few questions that I thought I'd ask the
group before I bring them up to the vet.

First question: Well from reading some archives at google, it seems that
lumps in old dogs can be a common thing so how do you decide how many to
have taken out surgically? I'm concerned that she is going to have 3
areas with stitches and that it will take her a long time to heal from
that. Then what if I find 2 more in six months... do I have those
taken out and then she will have to heal from those as well?

Do vets normally suggest going the surgical route over the biopsy route?
The reason I question this is because the surgery will be lumped with a
teeth cleaning and such.

I want to do what is best for my dog so I'm looking for opinions. I'm
definitely considering going to a different vet for another look.


We start with needle biopsies and decide about surgeries later. If the
teeth cleaning was a big priority, then yes, getting everything done at
the same time makes sense. We have older dogs and have some lumps that
are fatty tumors and some that have been cancerous (and some of each on
ome dog). The lump in the "armpit" would really concern me, because with
one dog, it could indicate lymphoma (or not). As I said, I would have
needle biopsies done before I made any appointments for surgeries
because DH & I might decide not to go ahead with surgery depending on
the type of tumor, etc. We like to have as much info as possible before
surgery, including whether surgery is really the best option for
treatment, should treatment be necessary.

Then Tracy had his surgery for his mast cell sarcoma, we decided to
remove a cyst at the same time, but left all the other fatty tumors
alone. We did make sure that each fatty tumor had a needle biopsy and
that the vet make a clear chart of which tumors had been tested. This
became important about a year later, when we wondered whether we had
found another tumor. (We had, but it was a fatty tumor).
  #7  
Old July 28th 03, 05:09 PM
montana
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
alie wrote:

One is under
her front left leg in the pit area. The 2nd lump is between her
shoulder blades and they think that may just be from her shots in May.
The third lump is on the inside of the back right leg. They want to
wait 3 weeks so they can see how the lump between her shoulder blades
feels. At that time, she will go in for surgery to have either 2 or 3
lumps removed. I plan to have those sent out for testing to make sure
of what they are. I have a few questions that I thought I'd ask the
group before I bring them up to the vet.

First question: Well from reading some archives at google, it seems that
lumps in old dogs can be a common thing so how do you decide how many to
have taken out surgically? I'm concerned that she is going to have 3
areas with stitches and that it will take her a long time to heal from
that. Then what if I find 2 more in six months... do I have those
taken out and then she will have to heal from those as well?

Do vets normally suggest going the surgical route over the biopsy route?
The reason I question this is because the surgery will be lumped with a
teeth cleaning and such.

I want to do what is best for my dog so I'm looking for opinions. I'm
definitely considering going to a different vet for another look.


We start with needle biopsies and decide about surgeries later. If the
teeth cleaning was a big priority, then yes, getting everything done at
the same time makes sense. We have older dogs and have some lumps that
are fatty tumors and some that have been cancerous (and some of each on
ome dog). The lump in the "armpit" would really concern me, because with
one dog, it could indicate lymphoma (or not). As I said, I would have
needle biopsies done before I made any appointments for surgeries
because DH & I might decide not to go ahead with surgery depending on
the type of tumor, etc. We like to have as much info as possible before
surgery, including whether surgery is really the best option for
treatment, should treatment be necessary.

Then Tracy had his surgery for his mast cell sarcoma, we decided to
remove a cyst at the same time, but left all the other fatty tumors
alone. We did make sure that each fatty tumor had a needle biopsy and
that the vet make a clear chart of which tumors had been tested. This
became important about a year later, when we wondered whether we had
found another tumor. (We had, but it was a fatty tumor).
  #10  
Old July 28th 03, 08:47 PM
buglady
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"alie" wrote in message
. ..
I have a 11 year old female German Shepherd. I took her to have her
yearly check-up in mid-May. No lumps were found then. Then my husband
noticed a couple of bumps and took her in to have them checked out.
Then during that visit the vet assistant found a 3rd lump. One is under
her front left leg in the pit area. The 2nd lump is between her
shoulder blades and they think that may just be from her shots in May.
The third lump is on the inside of the back right leg.


..........If you didn't get this done at yearly check up I'd get a complete
bloodworkup done now (especially if you're contemplating anesthesia for
teeth cleaning), which would be both a CBC and complete chemistry panel.
This will give you an idea of the overall health of the dog and sometimes
there are abnormalities in the bloodwork that might point to cancer. In the
meantime you might try giving the dog a knuckle bone once a week to chew on
for 1/2 hour and you might end up skipping teeth cleaning altogether.

........Is the vet sure the lumps aren't enlarged lymph nodes (except one
between shoulder blades)? It is really impossible to tell what the lumps
are just by feeling them. Some opt for a fine needle aspirate first, but
this isn't necessarily 100% diagnostic. Then there is the core biopsy,
which is larger, but still doesn't remove the whole lump and probably
requires anesthesia.

They want to
wait 3 weeks so they can see how the lump between her shoulder blades
feels. At that time, she will go in for surgery to have either 2 or 3
lumps removed. I plan to have those sent out for testing to make sure
of what they are.

........excellent idea, no point in removing anything unless you get a
histopathology done on it.

I'm concerned that she is going to have 3
areas with stitches and that it will take her a long time to heal from
that. Then what if I find 2 more in six months... do I have those
taken out and then she will have to heal from those as well?


..........Depends on what the original lumps are. If they are benign, like
lipomas, there's no reason to continue to take off all lumps. Dogs that are
prone to making lipomas continue to make them. One of my dearly departed
elder labs was in the lump of the month club.

...... Why are you concerned about the amount of time for healing? Is your
dog's health not good? How does she feel overall? Don't worry about
decisions involving mythological lumps 6 months from now. It may never
happen!

Do vets normally suggest going the surgical route over the biopsy route?
The reason I question this is because the surgery will be lumped with a
teeth cleaning and such.


.........As for surgery over biopsy, I think it depends on the experiences
and mindset of the vet. Some vets are more prone to watch and wait on older
animals. Some want to do surgery on everything. I had a fine needle
aspirate done on a cat with a lump and I could tell the vet did not like
doing it, as this is done without anesthesia or locals. OTOH for tumors
such as fibrosarcoma it is crucial to get a wide margin on the first
surgery. So I think you need to have a chat with your vet about his
philosophy and how big of a margin he's going to take, as he will be
operating on an unknown lump. Of course the bigger the margin, the bigger
the hole that needs to heal.

.......You know some vets will not do any other surgery during teeth
cleaning. Cleaning the teeth releases aerosolized bacteria into the air and
they are concerned about getting this in open wounds. If the teeth are very
bad, cleaning could also release a flood of bacteria into the system, so
doing teeth cleaning with other surgical procedures can end up being hard on
the dog. Some vets are now prescribing antibiotics before and after teeth
cleaning to keep chances at a general infection down. I don't know if this
is necessarily a great idea, but it might be worth discussing with your vet.

............And I agree with Alison, there's no need to get yearly
vaccinations on elderly pups. More vaccinations does not confer more
immunity to a dog already immune to a disease.

May you have many many more days with your cherished senior
buglady
take out the dog before replying



 




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