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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 13288
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I have a 12.5 year old Tibetan Terrier who was diagnosed

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 12.5 year old Tibetan Terrier who was diagnosed with a spindle cell tumor in her chest. I found it approximately 6 months ago and had my vet aspirate it. He said it was just a fatty tumor. About 2 months ago I asked him to aspirate it again and send to a pathologist who said it was spindle cell. We had the tumor biopsied and was told that it is Stage 2 and not aggressive. Due to her age and the fact that the vet does not know if she can close the incision completely on her chest we have decided not to operate further. Our thinking was that we would rather have our time with her without her trying to recuperate from a deep incision in her chest wall. The vet said her lungs are clear but there are a couple of spots on her liver that cannot be analyzed without biopsy. I am sick about our decision. We lost her brother at 11.5 after trying desperately to save him from another type of cancer. He suffered and hated to be touched at the end. How do I reconcile our decision. How long can she live if we do nothing?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the Tibetan terrier's name?
Customer: Jenny
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Jenny?
Customer: She takes benadryl twice a day, along with gabapentin (arthritis) and a probiotic. I also give her turmeric, cod liver oil and milk thistle on alternating days.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 6 months ago.
Hello, I am so sorry to hear Jenny has this kind of cancer. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help. The only good news about spindle cell tumors is that they tend not to metastasize, meaning they don't tend spread to places like the brain, the lungs and the liver. However, they slowly grow in the site where they start, and even if removed, tend to grow back. Even if you removed it, and put her through the surgery, it would probably grow back again. Your only hope with this kind of cancer is to catch it early, do as large an incision as possible to remove it, and even then they tend to come back. It is hard to say for sure how long she will live. Eventually the tumor will be large, possibly painful, possibly will ulcerate and become infected. At some point it may affect her appetite, with her becoming pickier and pickier about what she will eat. That may happen in a week, or not for months. I would consider pain medication like tramadol to see if that helps. You could consult with a veterinary oncologist to see if there are any therapies that might shrink the tumor for awhile. I am so sorry she has this tumor. Please let me know if I can answer any more of your questions.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 6 months ago.
How is Jenny doing? I hope you were able to see my answer. Let me know if this was helpful and what other questions you have.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 6 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Rebecca

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