Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
This poor guy. This is a common area for dogs to get masses. I can but lend an opinion on what I might recommend in this situation, having removed many masses in this area (and amputated tails). If the mass is diagnosed to be non-cancerous as based on fine needle aspiration (to a board certified pathologist at the lab) and/or biopsy, then unless radiographs (X-rays) indicate bony involvement in the mass, there is no reason to amputate the tail. That being said, this is a tricky area to do surgery and your vet may be suggesting amputation as this is going to be the easiest option to adequately close the surgical site from his/her experience. IF that is the case, then before having amputation performed I would recommend you get a referral to see your closest board certified veterinary surgeon to consult with having just the mass removed. There are special flap closure techniques the surgeon can perform to maintain the tail that your vet may not be familiar with. Again, this is a super tough area to do a big surgery since there is not a lot of skin afterward to close and high risk for the surgical site to fall apart given high mobility (from wagging) and the pressure on the incision site.
On the other hand, if there is any suggestion based on biopsy or needle aspiration this may be cancerous (e.g., mast cell tumor) then amputation would be very reasonable to get the tissue margins needed and this should be done sooner rather than later. One option for cancerous tumors to try to preserve the tail when bone is not involved is to see an oncologist for radiation or heat therapy to shrink the tumor first and then have a surgery later when the mass is smaller.
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