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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19671
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I have a 9 year old female springer spaniel/german

Customer Question

Hello, I have a 9 year old female springer spaniel/german short-hair mix. She has fatty lumps all over that have not been a concern to our vet. So, we weren't concerned when yet another lump started on her hind leg. She doesn't seem bothered by it, but its getting HUGE! We just found out that our veterinarian is no longer at the practice we've been going to for years. So we had no choice but to go to another vet on staff. She barely examined her or even touched the massive lump. She recommended no course of action?? Said that "it" is probably too large to surgically remove because it wrapped around her leg muscles. No biopsy or fluid sample? (My husband took her and didn't really ask too many questions.) The vet said that they "could" biopsy it but they'd have to put her under anesthesia (of course.) I'd really like to know what in the heck is going on back there because if it keeps growing, it looks like her leg is going to explode. Like I said, this hasn't slowed my dog down at all. She still eats and drinks heartily and runs fast and plays. I'm confused. ūüė≥
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

Now if she has a fast growing lump on her leg, it would be ideal to know what it is. Of course, I do have to warn you that if it is very large, we may find that knowing doesn't necessarily change our treatment plan (which is likely why her vet hasn't pressed for testing). As well, we do need to be aware that this may be a mass that cannot be fully removed from the leg without a full amputation of the leg (since there won't be enough skin/tissue to close the area it is removed from). Still if you do have this tested, you will be able to appreciate whether that would be ideal here or if there is scope to debulk and remove some of the mass to take some pressure off the local skin in this area (which is likely being stretched quite thin).

With this in mind, we would have 2 options here. First, a surgical biopsy like her vet noted would be ideal. This would allow them to remove a portion of the mass for analysis and tends to be ideal for obtaining a diagnosis. That said, since it does require an anesthesia, I would note that you could consider a preliminary fine needle aspiration (FNA). This is where the vet uses a needle to harvest cells from the lump. If the remove pus, then this tells us that there is infection present and antibiotics can be dispensed. If clear fluid is removed, then a cyst would be suspect (which could be drained). If fat is removed, then a lipoma (fatty lump) would be suspect and while this may still need debulking in this case wouldn't be considered cancerous. Otherwise, if the above are not found, then the cells they harvest can be stained and the identity of the nature of the lump can be determined. There is always a risk that an FNA can be non-diagnostic (since this only takes a needle core worth of cells), but it is something that can be tried without anesthesia and could provide an answer here too. So, if you were not keen for a surgical biopsy, this could be a less invasive option that could give us the answer we need here for your lass.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?