In January 2018 we noticed a lump on Mali's left side, it was hard and it troubled us and she was taken right away to the vets. It turned out to be a soft tissue sarcoma, diagnosed as being intermediate, this meant that there was a likelihood of spreading. It was decided to remove the lump surgically. The prognosis was that if it were to come back it would do so in six months. Well eighteen months passed by and we thought we were in the clear, unfortunately it came back and has grown rapidly.
Our first visit to the vet and it was decided to do a wait and see. Would operating again shorten her life and put her through unnecessary stress and let nature it's course. Today we came to a crossroads. The tumour has grown so much that it has to be removed to give her a chance. The downturn in her overall well being has not happened, indeed she was chasing squirrels in the garden today, she eats well and has not lost any weight. Her tail never stops and she's very happy in herself.
The vet also found a murmur at the previous visit, again another reason for waiting for nature. That has not worsened either. We have decided that on Friday morning she will go into surgery for a second time. The reason for the wait is so that heart medication will have to time to take effect, the vet sees no reason for tables after the op.
There is the spectre of pre-op x-rays finding something more sinister and again, with the vet in agreement then Mali will not be brought back from the anaesthetic. We just have to give this beautiful, intelligent, fun loving little dog every opportunity for life, so I'm not going to be negative.
@gibbsy it’s difficult to know what to say at this time. I only saddened it because of how you and the family must be feeling. Know that thoughts are with you and Mali.
I hope every thing goes well. Best wishes, Ashley.
If she came through the last operation without any issue and this will give her a good extension then go for it.
We had a decision to make with Bella a few years back. She had bone cancer in her shoulder. The only option was to remove the leg (front right) and even then it would only buy her a year or 18 months but the cancer would 100% return.
We decided against it. She was an awkward mutt at the best of times and adjusting to 3 legs would have been difficult, plus she would only gain a year or so of reduced quality life.
We let her go and I don't regret that. But for Mali the prognosis is much better so I would definitely go ahead with it.
We went to vet this morning expecting her to be operated on, so no food which went down like a lead balloon, followed by the shaking like a leaf when we entered the surgery. She was, however, on fine form nagging the life out of Karen for her food.
After seeing the usual vet another in the practice came to examine her, feeling well around the tumour in the examination. Then followed a lengthy discussion between the two vets. It has been decided because Mali shows no signs of suffering or the other symptoms of the cancer having spread to other parts of the body that she can tolerate a more invasive procedure.
The other vet is a soft tissue specialist and what he wants to do is to remove the tumour and a significant amount of flesh from around it. Because of this they will also need to bring a flap of skin from the abdomen to cover the would. Having this done means Mali will have to stay in the vets for two nights as she will have drains in and they need to be monitored. They also said that about the first op, but her recovery was such that she was allowed home the same day as the op and based on her recovery from that op they feel she can easily withstand this new surgery.
There is one dark cloud on the horizon though. She will be x-rayed to look for spread and this particular cancer spreads to the lungs. So far they sound clear and functioning well. If there is any sign of metastasis in the lungs then they will remove as much of the original tumour as possible with the minimum amount of surgery. This could prolong her life by six months or so. Whatever happens the tumour is going to be removed partially or fully on Monday simply because not removing is now no longer an option as, apart from that monster, she is very well.
I'm not going to end this wonderful journey with her without given her a chance.
Nearly 18 months ago our boy had a small pea sized lump on his paw (top side) Had it looked at by our Vet & after a biopsy they said it was cancerous so removed 90-odd % of it due to it's awkward position on his paw.
Thankfully he has been great since, touch wood, maybe caught it early, who knows.
Just feel grateful tbh, I wish you all the best and have my fingers crossed for your lovely dog.
The operation to remove the tumour went ahead this afternoon and the vet has telephoned within the last hour. It has gone very well. She was X-rayed before the op and her lungs are clear which was the biggest fear of the cancer spreading. The tumour has been removed entirely and a large margin of healthy tissue has been taken as well as some muscle underneath the growth. It's the surface of the muscle which should easily repair.
The idea was to bring up a flap of skin from her abdomen to cover the open wound but thankfully it now is a much smaller flap than was first feared which should make for an easier recovery. She has two drains inserted and will not be allowed home until the vet is certain of no chance of problems caused by the fluid. She is likely to stay at the vets until Thursday.
We've gone from a fairly downbeat and worrying visit several days ago to a vet that is full of optimism and somewhat upbeat in her telephone call. The surgery will ring at around 9 pm to let us know her she is. Guarantee she's nagged for food. At the moment I have a very tearful wife and yesterday was our 40th wedding anniversary. Celebrations put on hold.
She is still at the vets, hopefully home tomorrow. She has drains in the wound which are still discharging fluid, although reducing the vet is still reluctant to release her. On the plus side she is very much brighter today as the pain killer strength has been reduced. She's eating well, not that she's ever had trouble in that department, also going for short walks and is interacting well with the nurses.
The operation took two and a half hours. The wife is really missing her now.
Well she's home, had some food and now gone to sleep. It's one hell of a wound. A vertical incision that has taken 22 metal stables to fix going from spine level down to the abdomen, she also has an unspecified number of internal stiches. Over two kilos of flesh and tumour have been removed and she now goes in where she use to go out. I was going to post a photo but it would make for a grim reply in the thread.
When she saw the wife in the waiting room I thought her tail was going to fall off, it was really motoring. Then she saw me at the reception desk making further appointments and pulled like hell on the lead. Over the next few days she has to be kept quite, no jumping on chairs, running in the garden or climbing the stairs. So what does she do. I take her straight up the garden when we got home for her to pee. Finished the pee, ran straight past me and down half a dozen steps.
She's eating well, drinking plenty. Sleep is her best friend now. We have her in a Medivest to stop her potential licking of the wound, far better than those horrible Elizabethan collars. If anyone has to put their dogs through an operation then I highly recommend them.
The vet has just telephoned with the results from the lab. It's really good news. The tumour was grade 1, the lowest with a very low percentage of spread to other parts of the body. They also checked the margins of the flesh that was cut away and again good news as there is a good margin and for this the lab was happy to give a 95% rating.
So glad we took the decision to have her operated on and have a skillful vet to carry out the op. Thanks to everyone that has shown concern over her and she is now recovering well.