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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14867
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My chihuahua has a swollen area on her lower teet. I asked

Customer Question

My chihuahua has a swollen area on her lower teet. I asked about it here a few days ago and the vet said it didn't look cancerous and it could be due to her getting ready to go into heat although she has no swelling in her private area yet. Well, it seems the swelling is getting larger and it hurts her a little if I examine it. Here are two photos one was taken two days ago and one this morning
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
This is the photo today
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I'm worried about this. It's definitely inflamed and I don't know if it's because she's going into heat or ???
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I don't know if I can apply compresses to it or what?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Another photo
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
This is "Honey", she's been my everything as I have battled lupus and cancer and she is right there by me.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

She is gorgeous, very soulful eyes!

When was your girl last in heat?

Has she had normal heats or are they irregular?

Is there any sort of discharge from that nipple?

How old is Honey?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you, she's my four legged child, I love her sooo much! ❤️ Her heats are pretty regular she's due with November or December but I think end of November. There is no discharge at all. It is sensitive though she doesn't want me to examine it too much. I am giving her CBD oil for dogs because I'm just worried.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

I am seeing an irregular, somewhat lobular in appearance swelling surrounding the most caudal nipple of her mammary chain.

Possible causes of a lump in this location are a mammary tumor, mastitis (mammary gland infection) if she has had a recent heat cycle, or a lymph node that is enlarged.

If she is not spayed and had a recent heat cycle and the lump came up quickly and is hot and painful then mastitis or a mammary gland infection is possible.
But a mammary tumor or an enlarged lymph node are possible as well.
Enlarged lymph nodes can be secondary to infection or a lymphatic system cancer called lymphoma.
In dogs mammary cancer incidence is much higher in unspayed dogs. Dogs spayed before their first heat very rarely get mammary tumors. 50% of mammary tumors are benign and removal is curative in dogs. But 50% are malignant and those invade into deep tissues and spread to local lymph nodes, and distant sites including the lungs and liver.

I understand that the swelling seemed relatively benign in nature at her exam a few days ago. And it is true that mammary tissue does swell in response to hormone changes with a heat cycle. But that should result in symmetrical enlargement of her mammary chain. It should NOT involve just one area. When we see one area swell we do need to consider an infection (mastitis) or cancer. Because she does not have any discharge, and she is not in heat mastitis seems much less likely.

Ideally she would be re-examined soon and if this is a tumor it should be removed before the tumor has a chance to spread.

My recommendation would be to have Honey see her veterinarian to have this lump checked as soon as possible.

In the meantime don't use a warm compress on this painful swelling. You can apply used tea bags soaked in cool water or cabbage leaves soaked in cool water as a poultice to reduce any inflammation. That should help her be a little more comfortable until you have her examined.

Best of luck with your girl, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I'm a disabled individual and have lots of health issues just had half my thyroid removed a few weeks ago and now she has this going on and I'm just so worried most likely because sooo much illness I've been dealing with. She's my baby. She's been ok though, she's eating and wants to go for her walks and wants her treats and sit with me.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Most dogs with cancer feel great otherwise in the initial stages. Until it spreads and affects organ function or oxygen exchange if it spreads to the lungs we rarely see other signs that they are ill.

If your regular veterinarian or treatment for her possible mammary cancer is beyond your means financially now your other option is to contact your local shelter or humane society and see if they run a low cost clinic or know of one in your area.

If not here is a web-page that lists some that may be able to help:

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_pet.html?credit=web_id91754962#Assistance_by_state

Other sources of help can be found here: http://speakingforspot.com/?p=Financial%20Assistance%20for%20Veterinary%20Care

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I did get her a credit card this morning for a vet in my area. It's just for $500. If she did have something more serious like CA I would need to get her some insurance. If I take her in to the vet before the insurance starts it would flag her as prexsisting condition. I would have to wait two more weeks before she went. What do you think?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
They have low cost clinics that would help me? I don't want to lose my girl.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do you know anything about CBD oil? How much should I be giving her that would help her during this phase?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Since she already saw her veterinarian and the mass was noted on her exam then you won't likely be able to get this covered under a new insurance policy. They will ask to see her records before covering treatment and will deny the claim based upon that.

Also since this seems to be growing quickly the sooner it is addressed the better.

Yes, there are low cost clinics, and funds to help people with financial constraints deal with the costs of cancer. It may take some work to find help, but hopefully you can connect with one.

I don't recommend CBD oil in dogs. There is concern about overdosing in small dogs and really at this point she isn't painful or uncomfortable unless it is being bothered with. An anti-inflammatory might be helpful. Post surgery there are really good drugs we can use for pain.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
She has not seen a vet yet
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The only vet I'm talking about her seeing was on here and she is a vet assistant.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

You stated "I asked about it here a few days ago and the vet said it didn't look cancerous and it could be due to her getting ready to go into heat although she has no swelling in her private area yet"

Did you mean that you asked a veterinarian on JUSTANSWER?

If so then you might be able to get her insurance and have it covered.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I did apply for a credit card with a vets office online this morning so I had funds to take her to the vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Because it isn't yet noted in her record.

If that's the case you can certainly try.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I apologize it was only here that I asked not a vet in an office
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

I understand now. So apply immediately for insurance, then have her seen as soon as that allows.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I can apply for her today and they cover cancer and genetic illnesses. I will have to wait 14 days though before she is covered. Do you think it would be ok to wait 2 weeks?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

I think it isn't ideal, but with your financial constraints it will allow you to get her treated as best she can be, and that is very important too.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is there something I can do during the wait time to slow the progression down?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Mammary cancer is expensive to treat. Ideally she should be spayed if this is cancerous. And she may need chemotherapy. So in the big scheme of things waiting 2 weeks may be worth it.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

No there really isn't anything you can do at home to change the course if this is cancerous. You can use the green tea bag poultice to keep inflammation down.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The reason I had not had her spade because she had to be checked 1 time about 3 years ago because my daughter in laws make poodle got to her and I was worried she was pregnant. When I tools her in they did an ultrasound and said she was not pregnant but her kidneys or kidney was dilated and wanted to know if she exhibited any symptoms of not being able to pee or illness? She was very healthy so they said maybe she was born that way but they could not put her to sleep until they checked out her kidneys, so I put off the spading because I didn't realize about this breast cancer in dogs.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
now I just feel uber worried. I appreciate your advice. Will sign her up for the insurance. Could this cancer spread too much in 2 weeks?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I mean if it is going to spread I'd rather take her now.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

I understand, so if indeed she has pre-existing kidney disease THAT part would not be covered and they may deny part of the claim.

If she wasn't tested further and found to have normal kidney function then that would be an issue with her getting things fully covered.

If this is highly malignant then yes, we could see spread in 2 weeks. We just don't know what we are dealing with. Of course if it is best to have her treated as fast as possible. But if you cannot afford that treatment ($500 won't be nearly enough) then having her go in now isn't productive either.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.
Hi Marcie,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara