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Mass on dog’s back???

Published on: June 30, 2022 • By: AmandaLeeWat · In Forum: Dogs
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AmandaLeeWat
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June 30, 2022 at 02:53am
As quick of background knowledge I can do…. My dog is 7 years old, when he was 3 he had a problem holding urine. Took him in and scans showed a mass (didn’t know what at the time) pushing his bladder and all other organs. Almost lost him that night when it turns out the mass was his spleen and it ruptured right there at the vet’s office. The vet saved him and removed his visibly cancer ridden, 10 pound spleen. (He’s a lab/blue heeler). He survived the cancer and is now in remission. Following that he ended up getting diagnosed with ulcerative colitis two years ago and he has continued to have flare ups. He is currently on the highes dose and the most frequency of medication to control that. And finally about two months ago he we in for his annual checkup and all was good. Less than a month later I took him back in because he had a mass growing on his side. In less than a month it went from nothing to almost the size of my hand. The vet decided to remove it because of the location and it would have effected his mobility, but he was also concerned with how fast it grew. It was benign, but almost double the size we thought with plenty of veins. The current issue is my dog now has a mass on his back, just off his spine. It doesn’t seem to be hurting him, but it’s definitely there. It doesn’t really seem to move much and it doesn’t really have a clear beginning and end when I feel it. I don’t want to take him back in if this is going to be nothing. As you can imagine I have spent a lot on his health the past four years, and I would do it again. But at the same time, after this last surgery I got the feeling from him that he is wanting to be done with these procedures. Even when he was split open from his spleen he just loved the attention; this time he stayed in the closet I converted into his room. He didn’t want to move much and seemed to careless about the cuddles. But I don’t want him to suffer if there is something I can do. I’m just not sure what the right thing to do is……B5B71D9D-84CF-4F68-9624-7B3ACABA53609DDF84D0-66A0-4DFE-A2D3-14423FF161A4
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
June 30, 2022 at 09:56am
Hello!  I can't account for why your dog struggled more after the lump procedure than the previous one.  It's possible that he was in more pain.  This sounds strange: more pain from having a skin lump removed than having a huge abdominal operation, but the fact is that there are a lot of nerve endings in the skin and we (vets) are less likely to pull out the big-gun pain medication.  I also wonder if he was on fluids for the skin mass removal - fluids are again optional and often not used for quick procedures, but have been shown to reduce recovery time dramatically.  It's also worth asking about your dog's attitude to life in general; how are his hips?  How is his posture?  (Hospital kennels can be uncomfortable if you're arthritic and lie on the hospital floor the wrong way).  Any of these things can dictate hospital recovery so it can be very hard to judge what will happen this time.  I would certainly ask questions about peri-operative (around the time of the operation) iv  fluids and pain releif in general.  On the picture I wonder whether your dog might be a little arthritic, but of course it may also be the angle that the picture was shot.
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
June 30, 2022 at 10:00am
Another issue worth mentioning is that the lump may simply prove to be a lipoma, and where as in the past we always reccommended removal of lipomas, these days if we are convinced that that's what it is, we don't always.   Lipomas are continuous with normal fat and they may simply be a different way of laying fat deposits down.  However, it would be sad to ignore some other kind of mass, thinking it was a lipoma.
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
June 30, 2022 at 10:06am
Finally, have asked your vet about normal survival times following the removal of a cancerous spleen?  Was a type of cancer actually diagnosed in this case?  What is the normal life expectancy post-removal of splenic lumps and how does your boy compare to these figures?  These are important tools in decision making and if your vet doesn't know them (I don't know them off the top of my head), your vet could call the pathologist to check up.  This might help a lot with your joint decision making.
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
June 30, 2022 at 10:08am
Whatever you decide, I want to wish you all the best with your boy from here.  Please do let us know what conclusions you come to with your vet.
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