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Old February 17th, 2015, 06:51 PM
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Myka Myka is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Saskatoon, SK.
Posts: 945
Well the vet appointment went ok I guess. Roxy saw a new, young vet. Fresh off the books I think!

The vet thinks the lump is a tumor, not an abscess because it is hard and a bit lumpy (it looks smooth to the eye). She said statistically, mammary tumors in female dogs are 50/50 cancerous, though she says she's seen more like 75% cancerous. So that's not good.

The prognosis for dog breast cancer (unlike humans) is very poor. The cost of mastectomy is quite significant, so I figured the first thing we need to do is try to figure out if it is cancer or not. If it is cancer, then mastectomy may or may not prolong her life. If it is not cancerous then mastectomy is a good option.

So, apparently when dog breast cancer metastasizes it usually goes to the lungs first (same in humans actually), so she x-rayed Roxy's lungs. The lungs came back as clear, but she noted that Roxy has an enlarged heart, but no heart murmur. This is almost certainly unrelated, but it's something else to keep in mind if Roxy's going to go under general anesthetic.

Next, we did a CBC, electrolytes, and chemical blood profile checking for abnormalities, particularly elevated calcium which could indicate cancer. The blood work came back all within normal range.

The vet said we could do a biopsy, but she said it is very difficult to tell the difference between malignant cells and normal cells. Biopsy is the normal step for humans, so I'm not sure why it would be different for dogs. I don't know if it is because dog doctors aren't as good as human doctors or because dog breast tissue is different than human breast tissue. Anyone know anything about this??

The vet was pushing towards mastectomy surgery rather than biopsy. Although she wanted to send me to a bigger clinic to get Roxy's heart ultrasound examined before putting her under anesthesia.

Anyone have any opinions or experiences?

I might go for a second opinion to a vet I used to frequent who has seen Roxy before. I switched because this old vet is the most expensive one (most recommended too), and also because the new vet is the only holistic center in the area.
Ella - Jun '20 - Reg AmStaff
Squeak - '15/16? - Tabby cat (adopted Nov '18)
Streak - '18 - Black cat (adopted Nov '18)
Peewee - Jan '06 - 6.5 lb Chi (adopted May '09)
Roxy - Feb '05 to May '20 AmStaff (adopted Jul '11)
Myka - Nov '98 to Jan '10 - APBT X
Lacy - Sep '92 to Jul '03 - Sheltie

Last edited by Myka; February 17th, 2015 at 07:38 PM.
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