Hi and welcome to Just Answer. I am a licensed veterinarian and will do my best to help you.
Is the swelling hard or soft?
Is it attached to the skin or firmly to the ribscage?
How long has it been there?
Is it growing?
i would judge the swelling to be firm, probably attatched to the rib cage, since i just discovered it
About how large is it?
since i just discovered it this evening i don't know if it is growing
i feed her a fresh raw diet and for the last 2 weeks or so she didn't want to eat it so i tried cooking the food slightly and she gobbles it down. ( not literalll, i have a bowl that keeps her from woofing food down. she is a golden retreiver.
i'd say it's about the size of a large orange
Thanks. that's fairly large and being firm I would expect this to be a tumor. Considering her age I would have your vet feel this and do a fine needle aspirate to determine the type of cells involved. That will help you make the decision as to whether to remove it, or monitor it. While she is an older dog, she still may be a good surgical candidate. Best is to run some blood tests to look at kidney and liver function if surgery is considered. Here is more info on fine needle aspiration>
is there an organ in that area that might be involved?
No, I would anticipate this to either be a soft tissue tumor or something arising from cartilage or bone. Organ tumors would be hard to feel from the outside for almost all owners, and frequently hard for me to feel.
ok. i think that at least is better news. thank you for your advise.
Best wishes for a happy outcome.