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Tumor detection and removal can help prolong your pup's life -- well in to their golden years!!


Well, a few weeks ago we found ourselves back at the vet with Spud, my main boy --

-- I rescued Spud from an Upstate NY shelter almost 10 years ago --

-- 5 years ago, Spud had a tumor on his side removed.

Initially, a vet in NYC gave it a quick look and said, "Oh, it's just a fatty tumor -- nothing to worry about" --

-- well, I did worry, and I didn't like the looks of it.

So, we went to my Upstate vet, and she needle-aspirated it, looking at the cells under a microscope. They were cancerous.

So, the vet removed the tumor, with broad 3 cm margins on all sides, and Spud healed like a champ -- PHEW!

Since then, he has been on a raw diet, which I think makes him healthier.

In the past months, 5 years later, I found many small masses that weren't sitting well with me --

-- so I took him to the vet pronto. I worked from more a preventative measure this time, not letting the growth get too large.

My vet, Dr. C is great --

-- she allowed me to photograph the surgery, and also walked me through the procedure, step-by-step.

Also, she is very thorough, and that matters to me -- a lot.

Okay, on to the surgery!

First, Spud gets a little valium ketamine and isoflurane to send him in to dream-land --

-- then the breathing tube is inserted.

At this point, Dr. C checked his teeth, since he is almost 10 years old --

-- when dogs are under general anesthesia is the best time to do procedures like dental work -- cleanings and the like --

-- she deemed his teeth great, and no cleaning needed!

Next, the tech targets his nails and gets her Dremel out --

-- a Dremel is a hobby drill that has a sanding drum attached to it --

-- the sanding drum, at high RPMs, acts as a very effective nail file, and gets the nails nice and tidy!

So, with Spud all cleaned up, and dreaming, we're off to surgery --

-- and the techs take him to the surgery room --

There, his vitals are checked, like pulse, blood-oxygen levels, etc --

-- and he's got the measurement devices to detect it -- !!

Now, why we're here --

-- to rat out these fatty tumors.

Bully breeds are quite susceptible to fatty tumors, especially as they get older.

These tumors just happen -- that's okay, as long as they're detected and removed.

If they're not detected and removed, they may become cancerous, and spread throughout the dog's body, making survival in to their golden years a pipe dream --

-- we find one, and the area is shaved.

-- and here's where Dr. C goes to work.

First, she cuts the affected area, making sure to get a good, wide margin.

-- and the end-result. A fatty mass of cells -- a tumor, with good margins.

Had we done a needle aspiration on these tumors beforehand, we would have known their strength, but Dr C said she was getting the maximun margins here anyway, so the aspirate results weren't necessary for her work.

And then the healing begins, with Dr. C stitching up the affected layers of skin.

Here you can see the sutures tying together an inner layer of skin --

-- and then, an orchestra of sutures ties together the whole package.

Finally, a spray-on band-aid is applied -- looking more like silver spray-paint than anything -- !!

Here's the end result.

The suture material is self-dissolving, so no need to come back to the vet, Spuddles -- !!

Next, on to another tumor --

-- and the cut.

She makes a wide margin, getting the tumor and flesh surrounding it.

-- and the mass is cut out of dear Spud's body.

The remaining area is now free of the tumor --

-- and the stitching begins --

-- back and forth, back and forth...

-- we're almost there --

-- and tumor number two is done!

After some more time, we've found all we can on Spud, tumor-wise, and removed them --

Here are the nasty little masses, ready to be sent off for their pathology --

-- basically, we'll find out how detrimental they are --

-- maybe they're just fatty tumors, and benign, or perhaps they're cancerous, with varying grades of strength.

Regardless, Spud is done with his procedures today, and everything is cleaned up.

He's loaded on to the gurney, and is ready to go sleep off his anesthesia --

-- in to the kennel he slips --

-- and finally he gets some rest, without all the poking and prodding -- !!

-- better keep him warm, too, so he comfortably comes out of his slumbers!

Next, I go home for a few hours, while Spud begins his recovery --

-- and upon my return, he's happy as a clam!

Though I swear I heard him say, "Where's dinner -- !!"

So, with that we're done --

-- three weeks later, Spud has healed wonderfully and is a better dog because of the surgery.


UDPATE on the pathologies -- they came back NEGATIVE!

Such treatment is critical to older dogs, allowing them to love longer, healthier lives.

The surgery was $700 total -- two hours in the operating room --

-- this is a small "cost of ownership" for Spud -- he is my companion, and has been there through thick and thin with me.

Please, if your dogs develop such small "lumps", take them to your vet and follow their advice --

-- don't get alarmed at finding them, but know you're doing your pup right by properly addressing such tumors.

As can be seen above, the surgery is painless to the dog, and is quick and simple.