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I think a lot of this decision has to be based upon your financial situation. Sometimes it really hurts the pocket book to have a dog treated by a vet, but sometimes...going in too deep can cause serious issues with your other financial obligations...such as missing rent payments, or credit card payments...the later, being they can shoot your interest so high you might never get out of debt from it.

I have had 14 year old dogs go in under anesthesia....and come out fine. I'm not trying to downplay the risk, because there is always a risk, even with young healthy dogs...sometimes things go wrong.

As far as the teeth...go by what your vet says...not by photos on Google. If the vet says the teeth need done, it's probably the best thing to do. Same with the neutering/tumor removal. Ignoring it will just mean it will get bigger, and probably painful at some point.

Cataracts are common in older dogs. I've had elderly dogs that were completely blind. They do just fine, if you keep your pathways 'clean' of obstructions, like socks or books so the dog doesn't trip over things. You would be amazed how fast a blind dog can negotiate their way through a house.

Two things you should do:

1. Ask your vet if they think the cancer is contained in the tumor, or if they think it's the kind of tumor where the cancer cells have already spread. I'm sure the vet won't give you a real clear answer as they would probably want to biopsy the tumor...but some vets have seen enough stuff like that, that they can take a decent guess....and you have to keep that in mind if they are wrong too...that they just guessed.

2. Get a second opinion....about the pricing, especially. You might find a vet who will do everything for less money.

The age. Some dogs can live to be 16 years old. Bigger dogs, 12 years to 14 years and really big dogs, sometimes only 8 to 10 years. Most of the dogs I owned who weighed around 10 to 35 pounds lived to be 15 to 16 years old. I had a 65 pound dog make it to 14 years. I think their old age limit is also determined by their over all health care they've had their whole lives too. My pets had really good quality foods and few health issues earlier in life, so I think that helped them live longer.

Also, to be frank, if it was my dog...and due to me not having a lot of money. I would risk the operation without the heart check. The way I look at it, the cancer is killing my dog anyways...and I don't have all the money in the world to afford a test like that....so I would rather have my dog die peacefully on an operation table than die a slow death from cancer.

I'm not sure what your vet means by 'full responsibility' but I'm assuming 'financial' He might be concerned you will get angry and blame him for the death...and want you to take responsibility in that manner....meaning no lawsuit, because your dog died on the table.

Also, your vet should not charge you the full amount of the operation if your dog dies on the table...they should be fair and only charge you for what was done....so if the dog died before the tumor was removed...they shouldn't charge you the full billing.

Right now you say your dog is in good shape....but believe me...cancer can sap the life out of a living being very very fast.

My dad, had a full physical, including cancer screening when he was 56 years old, this was at the start of the year. Later that summer, he found a lump in his back, and a month and a half later he died from cancer that just overwhelmed his body...got into his brain.

I hope for the best for you and your dog.

Stormy
 

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Thank you so much for your advice. I'm disabled so I don't have much money, but the operation I can handle somewhat fine, even more so if I travel abroad to have it done, as it will be half the price (Norway>Denmark). His teeth are not infected or broken, and he hasn't lost any.

I will try to get a vet in Denmark to do it, and follow up this thread about how it went.
I hope you can get your dog treated soon, and within your budget. Don't skimp on the teeth cleaning/(extractions, if needed) while your dog is under the gas. It doesn't take that long to do, and can be a huge preventative against teeth issues in the coming years, given your dog's age.

A tooth need not be infected to be 'bad'. I don't know if you've ever seen a dog's tooth pulled. I watched my vet do several of my dog's teeth once and the way he explained it, was like this.

He took like these special plyers and tugged and a slight wiggle on each tooth...and he said, "Good teeth on a dog are almost impossible to pull without breaking the dog's jaw bone around the tooth because the root goes so far down."

Then when he came upon a bad tooth and tugged...it slide right out! Almost like pulling a sliver from the skin. He then said, "When you hit one that's no longer good, they come out fairly easy." I think he pulled 3 of my dog's teeth that day, and only one of them looked slightly infected. But if the others had been allowed to remain in her mouth, bacteria would have soon got down into that 'dead/dried-up' area around the root and built up causing infection sooner or later. It's probably a little more technical than that, but I think he described it in a way that most people can understand.

Also, even if no teeth are taken, at least tartar build up will be removed, and tartar is kind of hard crusty stuff that can irritate the gum line, and at the very least, your dog's breath will smell better. : )

I know you are worried about the risk, and should be, but I think more often than not, elderly dogs come out of operations ok. And once that tumor is gone, you might even find your dog has more energy. I would think the tumor is using up some of the blood supply and it's nutrients that should be going into healthy cells.

Keep us informed. I hope everything turns out great and you and your dog enjoy many more years of healthy life.

Stormy
 
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