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Dr. Nell
Dr. Nell, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 156
Experience:  Retired veterinarian after serving 33 years as a country doctor.
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My dog has a tumor on his front shoulder. The vet has operated

Customer Question

My dog has a tumor on his front shoulder. The vet has operated twice. We know the tumor is cancerous. However, the dog does not act sick at all. He is a 14 year old Brittany Spaniel. The tumor has begun to grow at an enormous rate and now I have to decide what to do. The vet is unsure if he will survive the surgery to remove it and we know that it will grow back again. Does it make sense to put this down down? Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Nell replied 7 years ago.

Hi sdeash. I just came on the site and noticed your question. This question relates to one of the most difficult issues that pet owners and veterinarians have to face. Since I am a pet owner and a veterinarian, I try to understand the issue from both angles. I can share with you my personal feelings on the subject.

I am sorry your pet is having this cancerous tumor which keeps regrowing at a faster and faster rate. The fact that he has had surgery twice shows that you truly care and have done as much as possible for him.

As for the issue of euthanasia. That is a very personal decision. It is so hard to do I know. The things that I feel you need to consider are quality of life issues, {for you and your pet}, financial issues, and emotional issues. If your pet's life has reached a point at which he is not happy, is physically and or emotionally unwell then it is a reasonable thing to do to consider putting him to sleep.

The financial considerations come into play. I don't think that any reasonable person could find fault with you for considering putting your Brittany to sleep. The important thing is the 14 years of good, full, and happy life that he had with you. So try to focus on the good memories, and then make your decision based on what is best for the both of you. I hope this helps.

Dr. Nell

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your assistance. This has been a wonderful dog and I know that this is a very difficult decision to make. He was to the vet last week and I felt the doctor was unsure if he would make it through the surgery again. He was very concerned that he would lose much blood during the lenghty surgery. Thank you for your help.

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