Dog Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ginger is 14 and developed a lump on her leg seemingly overnight 10 days ago. We took her to the vet and after x rays and bloodwork, he determined it's a lipoma. He said if it grows, he recommends removal due to their not being much skin in that area. It has grown slightly since the appointment. The problem is we're moving and she's flying out on the 29th. I don't want to cause her stress from the removal, or have her pick at the wound during the stressful flight, but then I'm not sure if it'll get even worse before she travels. He will still clear her for flight with this, but I'm not sure if I should do it now or wait until we arrive. Anyone have any input? Our vet said its really our call and he'd support it either way.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
615 Posts
29th of May? That should give her plenty of time for her to recover if you have surgery done. Is she bothered by it? But if it has gotten bigger I would get it removed sooner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Is she bothered by it? But if it has gotten bigger I would get it removed sooner.
thanks for the advice! So far, she's not bothered by it at all, luckily. It grew a little the first week, but so far doesn't appear to have grown any further luckily. I'm still so torn on what to do since I'm going out of town for a couple of days next week before we move and don't want her picking at it while she's cooped up while dh is at work. Sigh. decisions.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Lipomas are not really an issue which need to be dealt with immediately as they generally are harmless. The location of the lipoma is probably of more significance, if it were to cause any discomfort from motion or pressure when the dog is active or resting.

I believe you have an honest vet and is giving you good advice i.e. that it is your call. A less than honest vet might be eager to excise the lipoma before you move so they could benefit from the fee rather than another vet wherever you are moving to.

What seems a bit odd to me is how you described the mass appearing overnight. Obviously, the vet knows more than I but generally lipomas are slow growing. Regardless, it's a benign mass and easily removed.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
Your flight is just over two weeks away. If the lipoma stays relatively the same size over the next couple of days, I would wait.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Did they do any testing to be sure that it's a lipoma? My experience too has been that they tend not to make overnight appearances but I'm not a vet.

I have an old dog with several assumed lipomas, as well as a couple probably not lipomas which haven't officially been diagnosed, so I'm vaguely familiar with your dilemma and these would be my considerations (my dog is a poor surgical candidate due to health issues, and none of her growths are rapidly growing or in areas likely to impede motion, so it's an easy choice for me to leave them alone).

It's a rather difficult judgement call made even more so by your upcoming move. Because of the limited surface area of the lower legs, it can be difficult to remove larger growths on them due to insufficient skin to close the surgical site. It is usually recommended to have growths in such areas removed sooner, rather than later, due to that reason. At the same time, your dog is older, and if it is a lipoma, they more typically cause issues when they reach large sizes or are in such areas as to affect mobility. However, it's already quite large for that area, and waiting could allow it to grow beyond a size which can easily be removed, which may mean more extensive surgery by a specialist if it needs to be removed in the future. At the same time, if it is already of such size to be borderline difficult to remove, there may be higher incidence of post op complications, which could be problematic for your move.

It may be worth having your vet re-evaluate it at its current size, to see if they still think either approach (surgery now vs waiting) is equally acceptable. If so, that still leaves the decision completely in your hands, but they may have an inclination one way or another that may help you decide. Good luck with both the decision and the move :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
You should look into a new vet. Any vet pushing surgery on a 14 year old for a lipoma that isn't even bothering him... there is something wrong there.

Did he even do a biopsy to confirm that is what it is?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
A good/strange update on this! Ginger's lipoma stayed fairly small during the move and after. Unfortunately, we had a family emergency and had to board the pups for a week. While there, the tumor grew drastically. We picked her up and immediately took her to the vet. (Finding a new, good vet is HARD!) They took a biopsy and drained it. Within a couple hours it grew to over softball size. The biopsy came back clean but showed an inflammatory cause, and they were dragging their feet on even scheduling a consultation for removal or anything, so I took her to a different vet and they had the results faxed over and scheduled her for surgery last week. The surgery went way better than anyone expected and she's healing nicely!

The weird part is we paid a little extra to have the tumor (which was actually 2 medium size ones and around a dozen smaller ones all in the same area and I'm not even sure how that all fit!) sent to a pathology lab to determine the cause and determine growth rate, likelihood of it coming back, etc. They ran the basic tests and found bone in the tumor, but it wasn't attached to any bone, so the tumor may have grown it! The vet said that it all basically fell out once she opened the skin, and only had to cut a little for the blood supply areas. So the lab is completely stumped and curious, so they're running all kinds of specialty extra tests at no charge to us so we can all figure out what the deal is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Stranger things have happened. Glad to see it's all resolved.


Research teratoma. Pretty messed up stuff.
that's actually what I was thinking of earlier. I've heard of them growing teeth and all kinds of funky stuff.

Have any of her vets xrayed the leg where the growth was?
It was x rayed early on, but didn't reveal much of anything. All her bloodwork came back good, too. We've been super lucky that she's a sturdy, hearty girl!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
We got a bad update this morning. The tumor started growing back already. It burst through the sutures and is now visible. It's only been 11 days since the surgery. The pathology results came in and it is a intermediate soft tissue sarcoma. Our vet, who is very young and just started working in June, was not optimistic at all and gave an estimate of 3 months to live. She expects it has already spread and said it has a high chance of spreading. However, the biopsy didn't pull any cancer cells, and chest x rays from 4 months ago were clean as well. Also, her bloodwork is perfect. She has no symptoms at all besides her leg lump. She's still running around and playing with toys.

She says there's no treatment, and just spoil her and let her go. She did prescribe Prednisone as that has been known to make them smaller, and we're keeping her on antibiotics. I'm also trying some homeopathic things in addition - hemp oil and frankincense oil. I figure it can't hurt.

A possible courses of action she mentioned would be amputate the leg, but at Ginger's age and with the recovery/quality of life after, she doesn't recommend, and we wouldn't want to put Ginger through that either.

She also mentioned radiation, but that it typically doesn't work, and the only way to do that is to fly Ginger down to Washington to have it done. Now this is where I'm seeing red flags. From what I've read online (and granted, I didn't go to school for this, but still) all the data I find said this type of cancer does NOT have a high spread rate, and instead stays more localized. Also, radiation is definitely of benefit when the tumor is located somewhere that is difficult to remove all the cancer cells, such as the leg, where Ginger's is. The only problem is that I'm struggling to find a vet here in Alaska that does radiation. I have a call out to one a few hours away, and I'm hoping to hear back tomorrow.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Sorry to hear...

If you're not comfortable with the current vet, I would get a copy of everything and have a second set of eyes look them over. If nothing else, for piece of mind.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top