I took my dog in today because he has a golf ball size tumor on his tail. The vet said we needed to amputate his tail. His eyes have also become very bloodshot since we noticed the tumor growing. My question is what are the odds that this is cancerous?
Type of Animal: Lhasa Apso
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 11
Name of Dog: Chester
Welcome to JustAnswer! I would be happy to assist you. I am a 2003 graduate from UC Davis and a Medical Director of a 4 veterinarian practice.
Almost impossible to answer, for the same reason if there were the same growth on your body, the medical doctor simply cannot guess.
If it is not fluid filled like a cyst, and the vet feels it is truly a tumor, then I am worried.
Because a tumor in this location can be difficult to remove, and close the skin after its taken off, the recommendation to remove the tail may be the best choice.
To at least know if moving forward with surgery is adviseable, many vets will do a biopsy first or at least a fine-needle aspirate test to have a rough idea of what it may be, or if it could have already spread elsewhere.
Fine-needle aspirate test is performed usually without anesthesia and is very quick. Your veterinarian takes a few needle samples from the lump (the needle is no larger than the needle used to give vaccines). The sample is smeared on to microscope slides and submitted to the laboratory. It is not always as definitive as a biopsy (this is a full tissue sample), but often it can yield enough information to help guide you and your vet as to whether a biopsy is needed, or if surgery should be performed.
Not sure about the eyes, and not necessarily associated with this tumor problem. That should be evaluated separately by the vet.
Because Chester is 11, I am concerned for a increased risk for possible cancer.
However, even if it were benign, if it continues to grow, it would still need to be removed.
He told us that after they amputed his tail then they would do the biopsy?
Well, that is true as well.
But, suppose you did a needle poke test first?
And suppose it were cancerous? A type of cancer that spreads.
Everyone that I have talked to today, has told me that I need to consider putting chester down?
Wouldn't it be wise to then do some extra testing like x-rays of the chest or searching for cancer elsewhere before surgery?
That, I cannot answer since I don't know chester, his overall health, or evaluate the growth.
It grew in about 2 weeks to a golf ball size
Understood and concerning.
his appetite is good and still running around as usual... does seem to be a little grumpier then normal
Maybe consider a quick fine needle aspirate test first. To at least have a rough idea of what your dealing with.
he is starting to snap at my sons which he has never done
Could be age related senile issues or maybe in pain.
ok.. I will do that... Thank you for all your help
If there is something I have not covered for you, please let me know.
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ok.. thank you
2003 UC Davis Veterinary Grad