German Shepherd Dog > German Shepherd tumour on thigh - Hemangiosarcoma . (10 replies)
German Shepherd tumour on thigh - Hemangiosarcoma .
by memphisdreamer on 15 April 2012 - 12:36
|My dog German Shepherd is 11.4 years old. She has a lump the size of a tennis ball on her thigh (which is not bothering her)|
I took her to the vet & she said that it was cancerous and needed to be removed & that she would need to do a skin graft & it might not heal very well afterwards because of where it is the wound could keep opening up.
When I asked, what if the cancer had spread? She said she would not know until the operation. IShe said it is possible due to the size of the lump & how quickly it has come up.
I'm not sure the exact amount of time it has been there as she is a long haired GS & vey thick fur in this area.
I was very worried because of my dogs age & because the vet had suggested she might be uncomfortable for a long time after the operation. Would removing the lump be the right thing to do or not?
If the cancer has already spread she won't probably wont be here with us for very much longer & I don't want to see her go through all that discomfort & then to die.
The vet agreed that it was a difficult decision & sent me away to think about what i wanted to do.
I went to a different vet and got a second opinion. The other vet did a needle aspirate. He confirmed there were a lot of cancerous cells present & he believes it is a aggressive form of cancer called hemangiosarcoma.
At first he was quite confident that he could remove the lump without a skin graft & booked her in to operate next weds.
When I took her back in yesterday for a pre-op check & to talk my questions over with him, he found another small lump on her leg & said he thought it would now be best to do an ultrasound first to try to find out if there are any tumours inside her, also wants to do blood test & another needle aspirate on new lump.
He has booked all this in for next Tuesday & going by the results I need to make up my mind if I want the operation to still go ahead on Wednesday.
He is now not so sure how deep the tumour will be & not so confident he can remove it easily.
I am worrying myself sick!
Half of me is saying to just leave her be now & let her carry on enjoying what time she's got.
She is eating very well, enjoying her walks & is happy. The last thing I want to do is put her through a load of stress & then she comes to the end of her life anyway.
I was wondering if anyone else out there has gone through the same problem with their dog?
I do not want my lovely girl to suffer.
Can anyone tell if I do leave her be what to expect, what signs I need to look out for that she is suffering.
Would appreciate advise
by Destino on 15 April 2012 - 13:03
|To the best of my knowledge, you can not save her from hemangiosarcoma. Since the tumor is not bothering her, leave it alone and let her enjoy her life. Old dogs do not do well with extensive surgery and with this type of cancer, more tumors will appear. She may have internal tumors also. If x-rays can be done, without putting her under anesthesia, you might get a better idea of how involved the problem is. If she were mine, I would not put her through the surgery.|
by mollyandjack on 15 April 2012 - 14:17
|It is not true that you can't save a dog from hemangiosarcoma - it depends on the type. My dog had cutaneous hemangiosarcoma that was cured by excision of the tumor. We got to it before it metastasized. I have heard of others that have survived, though the other forms of hemangiosarcoma do not have a good survival rate. If your concern is whether your dog should be put through surgery and recovery at her age, I would talk to a surgical specialist. I understand your concern about her quality of life and I'm sure you'll make the right choice for her.|
by Nans gsd on 15 April 2012 - 15:34
|knowing what I know from past experience with Hemangioscarcoma; due to her age I would also leave it alone. Sometimes when they go in and disturb the lump to remove it the site does not want to heal that is even if they can close it up. It is possible that they will remove the tumor and then not be able to close the site up and then you have a gapping wound that doesn't want to heal. UGh.|
sent the needle biopsy to the lab, if they did not, they are guessing. I would have them do that first. I probably WOULD DO a chest x-ray to see if it is in her lungs. If it has spread to her lungs I definitely would not do anything but keep her happy, and continue with her exercise and play and food program. She has done well until you found this lump, right, continue what you have been doing with her and just plain enjoy your time with her.
So sorry for this sad news. Nan
by guddu on 15 April 2012 - 16:40
|I lost my dog to hemagiosarcoma, he was gone in a month after diagnosis at age 7. See if it has spread, at that point I would just provide supportive care.|
by Abby Normal on 15 April 2012 - 18:36
|It's a difficult one. I would go for the ultrasound to see whether any internal tumours can be detected, since this is not an invasive procedure and my dog had an ultrasound without anaesthesia.|
Also, as another poster said, the cells taken already must have been sent away for confirmation that it is hemangiosarcoma, otherwise you don't know what you are dealing with.
If it were me, my first steps would be those two things: Definitive confirmation by (histology?) that it actually is hs, and 2) ultrasound to see what is revealed internally. Then I would go away and decide what I was going to do next, so I would not be agreeing to any surgery now, if at all - that decision would come later. Don't be pressured into making quick decisions, dont agree to anything for the Wednesday, allow yourself time to go away and think about what you learn on Tuesday without any 'deadlines' hanging over you, you can always get another appointment if that is your eventual decision. You need to be left alone to think in your own time.
Sorry you are in this situation, but I am sure that you will make the right choices for your lovely girl.
by memphisdreamer on 15 April 2012 - 23:06
|Just would like to thank everyone who has taken time to reply to my thread. I was quite taken aback by your kind words, thoughts & advise.|
My lovely Breeze is so bright & happy at the moment. She loved her walk today & gulped down her dinner.
It breaks my heart just looking at her knowing she is ill.
I think I've decided to leave her be & give her as many happy days as possible.
It is a big lump & the response I got from both vets about removing it did not leave me feeling confident about her recovery afterwards.
They both said that they would not know how deep the cancer was & if it had spread until they operate.
Neither of them put any pressure on me to let them operate & both sent me away to think things over.
I would be heart broken if I lost her on the operating table or if she is left in pain with a wound that won't heal. These are big worries for me.
I am still thinking of going ahead with the ultrasound to see if any other tumours show up but then if i am not opting for the operation, perhaps it's best not knowing? The cells taken from the needle were not sent away to a lab but tested by my vet himself & he rang me the same evening. When my vet took the sample he did not think he would get a clear reading as it looked like mainly blood & he was surprised to find a lot of cancerous cells.
I'm not sure what body parts the ultrasound would cover? Does it show up the heart?
The vet also wanted to do a blood test, does anyone know what information this would give me?
Thank you again everyone for your kindness. I am so pleased to have found your forum. I feel I have found new freinds that actually understand what I am going through & love their dogs as much as I love my Breeze.
I'm off now to cuddle my Breeze & give her some treats. I think we will forget about her diet! lol..
by guddu on 15 April 2012 - 23:51
|Go with the ultrasound, that will tell you if it has spread, eg to liver, spleen etc. You dont see anything in the blood in hemangiosarcoma...ofcourse, blood would be useful to pick up other diseases (if its not hemangiosarcoma) and also to know Hb level.|
by SitasMom on 16 April 2012 - 00:57
|I had a cat with Hemangioscarcoma, the vet worked on her a couple of times, suggested to amputate her leg, she was 14 at the time, I said no. Had she been younger I might have said yes, but putting her through such an operation in her advanced age would have been cruel.|
by Juno11 on 16 April 2012 - 12:55
|So sorry to hear about your dog. Is there a naturopathic vet in your area who is good at treating cancer? I have a good one here in Ontario who has had success shrinking malignant tumours.|
by Abby Normal on 16 April 2012 - 14:13
|I think if you have definitely decided not to operate that there is little point in taking any further action.|
The purpose of the ultrasound was for you to find out whether this had spread internally, with a view if it hadn't to removing the lump on her thigh. If you have decided not to do that, the ultrasound will serve no purpose, other than possibly to give you more to worry about.
I am sure you are making the right decision. Even when my girl had a small mass on her tail removed my vet was worried about having enough skin to close it as there is so little excess skin on the tail. It turned out OK, but if it hadn't, we were in for a lot of trouble which could have ended up with tail amputation, just from a small mass. If two vets did not leave you feeling confident then I don't think that they were feeling confident about it themselves. It would be a terrible thing if her last months or years were spent struggling with an open wound and the problems and pain it would bring, and as you say - there is always a risk with anaesthesia.
Juno11 has a good idea, maybe a homeopathic or naturopathic vet can offer something, it certainly won't harm even if it doesn't help.
Enjoy your girl, she's happy. It's all about making the right call for her. Spoil her rotten and to hell with the diet. I wish you both a lot more happy times together. Treasure every moment.
Do keep us posted as to how she is getting on.