I am kind of lost right now. My 13 and half Golden Retriever was diagnosed a year ago with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. He is for the time being in remission, taking twice a month 10 Leukeran pills (chemo), and once a day 10 mg of Prednisone. He never really had any symptoms, and it was just discovered through a regular check up.
He is a big dog (100 lbs), and has a few lipomas. I noticed a new one two or three month ago on his stomach just inside an inch or two away from his front leg (size of a lemon). When I showed it to my vet, he took some cells through needles to analyze them, and it came back as a spindle cell sarcoma. He sent the results to my dog's internist who just told me that the only thing to do was surgery. She was concerned that it could get real big and it would not be possible to remove it.
With all my dogs, what matters to me is their quality of life. When I told the internist that I was not crazy about surgery because of leukemia, his age, and he has heart arrhythmia, she kind of said that this was far more serious (there was no biopsy, and it has not been graded) than the leukemia.
My issues are I want him to be happy for the last months or years of his life. I know we are lucky already since the average life of a Golden is around 10, and he is 13 and half. Should I put him through surgery with the risk that he dies on the surgery table, or just wait? From what I read these sarcomas do not spread (it was confirmed by the internist), and I was also wondering if surgery is really needed, does anyone know if it's possible do to it under local anesthesia.
I like my internist but I have to consider that she wants to bring business in the facility where she works where they have surgeons of course and it's hard to decide where to go from here.
Right now, my dog is happy, tired because he is old, but happy, he eats well, loves to go for short walk, and his tumor has not really grown at all in the last two months. If anyone had a similar experience or anything to do with that kind of sarcoma, please share your experiences with me.
Thanks a lot,
I don't quite get this....the internist said the spindle cell sarcoma lump was far more serious than the leukemia? And then....that it will not spread??
Surely if it will not spread (metastasize) -there is no danger, and it could be left? If it grows bigger, what does your vet say the possible negative factors will be? Could it impinge in some way on organs/bones/muscle/etc? I have no knowledge of these kinds of tumors, do they grow rapidly? If not, then it would surely be better to leave it?
If they are inclined to, then you need to find out from your vet what the negative effects of leaving this lump would be. And make your decision based on that.
Obviously I can't say -or advise "do this" or "do that", but my instinct would be to make sure you gather all the facts about this tumor, then leave it as it is, but monitor it, keep a good eye on it for changes, growth, etc, and impingement on any other body function, then take it from there? See what your vet says about this more passive approach.
I have no experience with local anesthetic for dogs. I guess the problem is that they are not like Humans. You can ask a Human to hold still for an hour while a tumor is removed under local....but you can't a dog. If the dog moved, it would make the surgery impossible. And restraining him for the length of time it would take to do a proper job, would be traumatic.
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