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Red Fox

My dog has a mammary tumour

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Red Fox   

It’s been years since I was on this forum. My dogs are now a lot older...

 

Elka is 7 year old Malinois. On Monday  i found a large, firm, somewhat lumpy, misshapen lump on her belly. It’s around 2 x 2.5 inches wide and flat like a pebble. 

 

I can guarantee with absolute certainty that the lump wasn’t there (or at least was not at all prominent) 10 days prior. 

 

She was taken to the to the vet on Tuesday morning and diagnosed with a mammary tumour.

 

There aren’t any other obvious lumps. Her mammary chain feels clear apart from this. Her lymph nodes seem okay. Her heart rate was normal. 

 

The soonest she can get in for surgery with my preferred vet is on 6th December. 

This will obviously be brought forward if need be, in which case I would have to allow another vet to do the surgery. 

 

I know the odds are 50/50 on whether the tumour is malignant. It will be sent off to pathology so I’ll know either way. 

But im concerned at the rate it’s appeared. 

 

Ive been told to watch for ulceration, growth, tenderness, etc. 

At this stage she seems fine... 

 

The vet I saw was also pushing me to desex my dog. I’m not against this if need be. But not keen on having it done along with major surgery. It just seems too much risk if it’s not absolutely necessary.

 

What I would like to know is if it fits the description of Inflammatory mammary carcinoma? Or if anyone else has been through this? 

Can tumours which do NOT fit the description of IMC grow at this rate??

 

I can’t speak to my regular vet that I trust as she is on leave for another 2 weeks due to having surgery herself. 

 

Just need some some advice I guess...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Red Fox
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JRG   

The reason for getting her sprayed is that many mammary tumours are hormone driven.

Personally, I would get her neutered at the same time (one GA etc) and would no doubt get the op done ASAP,  but that might depend on where she is in her cycle.

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Have both done :)  As JRG says, hormones can help the tumours grow.

The girls we get in with mammary tumours have no vet history. (So that doesn't answer your question sorry!)

Most have multiple masses, but the % that has spread outside of the mammary chain is relatively small thank goodness. We've had to do entire chain stripping too and gotten rid of all the cancer before it's spread. Everyone with tumours gets a chest xray too as you can clearly see spotting if tumours have spread outside the chain.

 

I'm only telling you this unhelpful rambling story so you know it's quite common in entire mature girls. So please don't stress too hard about an isolated lump you've found so early. Aggressive or not, it's going to be removed asap. :)  And you can always opt for pathology if you want. But yes I'd desex at the same time under the one GA. Anecdotally, we've never had tumours recur in spayed gals. 


 

 

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Wishing you all the best and, as hard as it is, try not to get too stressed out.  

 

I agree with the other comments: spayed at the same time as tumour removed.  Done regularly with pound dogs for whom we have no history.   Your Elka is a strong breed and she has lived her life being loved and well cared for.  She will probably sail through all this with barely a twitch.   

 

Thinking of you both.    

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CassieJo   

I ran across your post a short while ago & just had to create an account to respond.I'm in the US, not Australia so I hope that's okay. Over the last 30-35yrs, I have had more than a handful of female dogs with this problem along with a couple male dogs too. All still had reproduction intact beforehand. This vet cared for a lot of rescues, which is how I came to find him. I've brought home & have had more than a few rescues brought to my home. Our vet says it is higher in unspayed dogs, but once they go under surgery, it's best to have everything done at once so as not to subject them to another surgery, but also not to subject them to unnecessary anesthesia. There have been a few male dogs over the years with issues too. In more cases than not, upon examination it discovered that the dogs had at least one, if not both, testicles that had not descended. The risk of developing testicular cancer was too high not to take precautionary measures. This included removing the undescended testicle along w/the one that was intact & where it should be. I wanted to add that in more than a few rescue cats there have been what the vet explained as fatty tumors that were of no harm to the animal unless the tumor began causing discomfort. Some I have cared for and a few others I helped place have lived a long, otherwise healthy, life with the fatty tumors. A few did have to have a couple removed over the years but in those cases, it was done only to alleviate discomfort or irritation. The dogs with problems such as the one you describe (teacup, toy, & full-size breeds) had their tumors removed when it was questionable & while in surgery, they were spayed to reduce the high risk the tumor would return or trigger the growth of more.  Best wishes & all my hopes your little girl will get through this fine. 

 

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Red Fox   

Just an update;

 

Elka had her surgery today. 

 

She wasn't desexed, as both myself and her regular vet thought it would be too big a procedure and unnecessary at this stage.

 

The x-ray showed her lungs to be clear.

 

Unfortunately her vet found another tumour, resulting in the removal of her entire mammary chain.

 

We should have the results from pathology by mid next week. 

 

She's home. very sore and has a lot of stitches, but she's okay.

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Rebanne   

you can always give the suprelorin implant if you wish to decrease hormones.

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Red Fox   
52 minutes ago, Rebanne said:

you can always give the suprelorin implant if you wish to decrease hormones.

Good to know. I’ve used it before for my male, so will definitely look into it if needed. 

 

 

Thank you for the well wishes. She is sore but so far doing okay. Sleeping next to me now <3

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Red Fox   

Just a quick update for anyone interested.

 

Pathology results came back clear 2 weeks ago. Both tumours were fortunately benign. Sutures came out on Thursday and apart from some minor complications due to a reaction to the silk she had been doing really well.

 

Her vet and I made the decision not to desex her at the time due to the major surgery and prolonged anaesthetic associated with the mastectomy. Plan being to look at doing so once she had recovered. Last night she went into emergency surgery for open pyometra. Not even 3 weeks into recovery from her op.

 

It was very aggressive, but also caught early enough. 

 

She is home today, sore, confused, but okay.

 

All I can say is thank God for good vets and pet insurance.

 

 

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Tassie   

Oh my goodness @Red Fox, your poor girl.   On the one hand, great news about the path results.   But thank goodness you caught the pyo and the vet was able to deal with it.  Wishing you a peaceful time now, so you and your girl can recover.  :heart:

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Oh ! 
Glad she is now all  free of nasties & ready to heal & enjoy life again :) 
you both will enjoy a more settled time !

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What a terrifying time but yes! Good you caught it early and got to the vets in time! Let’s hope nothing else to worry about for many a year!

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Red Fox   

It's been a bit of an ordeal. And yes, hoping that's it for a while!

Thank you for the well wishes. We have a vet check tomorrow.

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