Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Health Questions
Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today!I am so sorry to hear Princess has this mass! I do not like saying this but if you would like to consider surgery I would advise consulting with a veterinary soft tissue surgeon to see if you do have options for resection that perhaps your regular vet might not be comfortable with.As far as when to know that she is suffering I will give you a few handouts to review that I have found very helpful. When dealing with mammary cancer often what you are experiencing is when we get concerned, the ulceration and bleeding of the mammary gland itself causes discomfort, it progresses and grows, she wants to lick and that repeats the cycle of infection and eventually does go off her food as a result.A few points from what you describe:- Please use oatmeal-based dog shampoo or ivory soap on the area for ten minutes twice daily to clean. Peroxide has been proven to delay wound healing- Limit ointment only to a thin layer. Ointments tend to trap in moisture and the area that is infected can progressively worsen as a result so only a thin layer when used- Try a t-shirt (children's if necessary) or dog t-shirt on her versus wrapping which also traps in the moisture. That way you can wash the shirts and rotate them daily to keep the area clean and dry and also limit her access to licking
Information about quality of life... Often we look at quality of life as whether they are still doing any of their favorite things, whether it be a favorite toy or treat, sitting with you while on the couch, barking at the neighbors to name a few and in her case eating well which is a great sign at this point. In addition, do they still have the "light" in their eyes, meaning are they still responsive to their environment and you or are they dull, listless, and fading away?Quality of life assessment handout: http://www.peacefulpetdepartures.com/quality-of-life-assessment/Pain assessment handout: http://www.csuanimalcancercenter.org/assets/files/csu_acute_pain_scale_canine.pdfI know this is a terribly difficult decision to make and I hope this information is helpful. Some areas in the country do have hospice care that can help guide you in this decision making process. There is a list of options below for you to review:http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/vth/diagnostic-and-support/argus/pet-hospice/Pages/pet-hospice-resources.aspxPlease let me know anything I can do to assist you both in this difficult decision. Any questions or concerns I can assist with to clarify how to make this decision please don't hesitate to ask. I am online another 15 minutes this evening to assist you both...
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