Dog Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Today I picked up my dog Mufasa from surgery. He had a mass on his side that they didn't know what it was, it was the size of a nickel and flesh colored. When I picked him up they had made a giant 5"-6" incision on him and stapled him up.

He is a black German spitz about 3-4 years of age. We feed him nothing but holistic dog foods and exercise him regularly. I'm just trying to find out if this is typical of this kind of surgery or if I should be upset.



They also wouldn't let me see him before I paid, and to add insult to injury he was covered in adhesive on his paws that they failed to clean off and his face had a brown dust like substance all over it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,595 Posts
I can sort of see where they're coming from with the money-I'm sure someone's seen their dog, grabbed them, and just booked it before with a hurting animal (could've made it worse, plus then the vet gets put in a pretty bad position). It sucks but it's probably for a reason.

Did they find the problem? I feel like the surgery was likely justified and the staples are probably common, though there is probably nicer stitching that could be used. I don't think staples are inhumane though, but I've never had to deal with them personally.

The adhesive and dust are probably safe, but if it's a cheaper vet you'd have to clean him up yourself (extra time/personal spent on something the owner can do). Did they give you directions on the best way of cleaning it off?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I can sort of see where they're coming from with the money-I'm sure someone's seen their dog, grabbed them, and just booked it before with a hurting animal (could've made it worse, plus then the vet gets put in a pretty bad position). It sucks but it's probably for a reason.

Did they find the problem? I feel like the surgery was likely justified and the staples are probably common, though there is probably nicer stitching that could be used. I don't think staples are inhumane though, but I've never had to deal with them personally.

The adhesive and dust are probably safe, but if it's a cheaper vet you'd have to clean him up yourself (extra time/personal spent on something the owner can do). Did they give you directions on the best way of cleaning it off?

No, they didn't tell me anything about it. When I picked him up I took him straight to the car to get them out of there, because he stresses out in there. So when I got him in the car, I noticed the dust in the adhesive and that's when I got a little upset.

And, as far as the surgery goes they didn't tell me anything about the mass except that they had removed it.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,595 Posts
I'd give them a call and ask what the mass was-you should know at least that, and ask what possible causes may have been.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,884 Posts
The adhesive stuff on his paw doesn't concern me nearly as much as the fact that your vet clearly has not informed you about what's going on with your dog.

You should definitely call or return in person with a list of questions. Did they even give you any instruction for out-patient care or how the surgery went? How to clean the wound? When to come back for a post-op check or stitches out? They should have taken the mass for biopsy...Basically they should be taking samples and having tests run to find out exactly what it is. If it's cancer, they can find out what kind, what stage, if it's the type that will spread etc. So they may not know what it is just yet. But they should still be more communicative with you about what they've done and what needs to be done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
Is it possible they did a needle aspirate before the surgery to look at cells?

The reason I ask is because it's clear that your vet did not explain anything to you, but from your description it sounds like they followed the protocol for removing a mast cell tumor, which is a potentially aggressive cancer (don't freak out - it is not always aggressive and many dogs live normal lives after removal). They wouldn't know if the mass was aggressive before removing it, because a pathologist would have to examine the actual mass and its margins, but the aspirate would have indicated whether mast cells were present, and if they were, the first step for treating a mast cell tumor is always aggressive surgical removal with very wide margins (hence the 5-6 inch incision...), regardless of whether or not it ends up being benign.

If a vet performed such an invasive surgery without knowing what the mass was, then I would be upset. However, some vets can stain a sample in their office to check for these cells; mast cell tumors stain in a particular way so they are usually easy to diagnose via needle aspirate. I suppose it's possible that the vet did this without informing you...

Now, I've explained all about mast cell tumors, and of course, that might not even be what this is, but you need to call your vet to find out why they did what they did. Perhaps they intended to remove the mass with a small incision, but there was more going on underneath. You deserve an explanation and you also need to have a better understanding of what the next steps will be, depending on what the mass ends up being.

Also, TiggerBounce is absolutely right; if they haven't sent the mass out to be biopsied this *must* be done.

Also, re: paying before seeing your dog...my dog had surgery last summer and they didn't bring her out until I had paid. I think it's pretty common practice. Some vets won't even perform a surgical procedure unless you pay the estimated amount ahead of time.

I would be annoyed at the adhesive sticking to his paws and the dust on his nose. It's not the end of the world, of course, but it's inconsiderate; the techs should have cleaned him up for you before bringing him out.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top