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Ask Dr. Altman Your Own Question
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11910
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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How long do yorkies live? I have one with cancer. I am trying

Customer Question

How long do yorkies live? I have one with cancer. I am trying to decide whether to put her through surgery or not. She is 13 years old.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and happy to answer your questions today.
I am so sorry to hear your beloved friend was diagnosed with cancer.
Do you have an idea of what the cancer is or where it is in the abdomen? Is she otherwise healthy? This will help guide our conversation
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Blood work is great. It is in the abdomen. They can tell by the sonogram, xray and blood studies she has cancer. Metastasize? Do not know the stage? Surgery would be to see if anything can be done. She is on a pancreatic diet, both knees have arthritis. Her hair is shedding a lot with black patches on back, stomach, anus and vagina. I am afraid she might die and a result of the surgery. She has trouble breathing after exercise. I believe in quality of life. But I have lost, my husband and son recently. It is hard for me to make the right decision for , Precious Sarah Standridge.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dr. Altman are you still there?
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
I am so very sorry for your losses. I apologize for the delay, I was in the process of responding to you...
This is a terribly difficult decision for anyone to make and moreso in your situation because you have had so much loss recently.
I guess the question is would you have more regrets if she passed not taking the chance of surgery that you could potentially have 2+ more years with her or if you elected surgery and she did pass during the procedure?
I was in your situation about 8 years ago with my 11 year old Chihuahua. She had an abdominal mass that was found on a routine ultrasound (I do them preventatively on my dogs annually if they are over ten years old). I was absolutely devastated because she was my life but I elected to take the chance with surgery and she handled it like a champ. It ended up being a benign (non cancerous) mass in her abdomen and she lived another 3 years afterwards with no ill effects from the surgery. So in this situation I was very happy I did the surgery and knew going in there were risks but if it meant I would have her longer and the mass wouldn't grow and cause her discomfort (the recovery is often just a few weeks) then I was prepared to take that risk.
With her having normal bloodwork and is otherwise generally healthy for her age, it really is a personal decision that you need to be prepared to handle the decision either way. I am of the mind set that I would rather take the chance knowing I am doing what is going to give her the best chance versus watching and waiting knowing what is in there could cause her pain and end her life sooner.
That is my thought process but everyone is different. With so much loss in your life recently it is a much bigger leap of faith for you than it was for me...
I hope this helps but please let me know how else I can assist you and would love to know what you decide...
If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks!
If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. Altman..." or "Dogdoc4u..." and others will leave the questions for me. Good luck to you both!!!
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
I am glad to see you were able to view my responses. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today
If you are satisfied with our chat please rate or accept so I may be compensated for my time. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
Hi Patricia,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Altman
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for asking. She still seems to be happy. I do not note any pain yet .
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
I am happy to hear your beloved is doing well and does not seem to be in any discomfort. My thoughts are with you both and if you need anything else during this process please don't hesitate to ask
If you are satisfied with our chat please rate or accept so I may be compensated for my time. Thank you!