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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1925
Experience:  Private Practice Veterinarian
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Just found out she has a large abdominal mass. Something the

Customer Question

Just found out she has a large abdominal mass. Something the vet has never seen before so not sure if it is invading other organs or if it is cancerous. Our pup is 12 years old and not sure she can survive surgery. Any thoughts are helpful.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Dog's name is Chili
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Chili?
Customer: We brought her in for malaise and losing weight, this is what the vet found. distended tummy
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a licensed veterinarian and I will try and help you as best as I can.

Please allow a few minutes for me to read your responses and for me to respond back.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 11 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this has happened to chili.

Did she have x-rays of the chest done and were they normal?
Did she have an ultrasound of the belly done?

Did they find any blood or fluid in the abdomen?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
x-rays of the chest were normal. They did show with red blood count she is bleeding internally. They did an ultrasound but still the vet tells us she has never seen anything like this.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
with her age and possible complications I'm not sure what to do. We were given a referral to surgeon in the area. We will do a consult but don't want our baby to go through something unnecessary.
They told us if it involves intestines she wouldn't make it either.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 11 months ago.

I see.

It sounds like this is pretty bad. Large abdominal masses with bleeding are typically going to be coming from the spleen or liver. This is typically an emergency surgery. Some dogs need a transfusion before surgery. The biggest concern would be a type of cancer called hemangiosarcoma, which is an aggressive cancer that can cause bleeding.

With surgery, long term prognosis is very poor for most bleeding tumors in the abdomen.

There is a big risk of bleeding with surgery, so the vet should be able to do transfusions. If your vet is not a 24 hour hospital, you should head somewhere else. Post op recovery is typically 2-3 days assuming things go well. There are typically arrhythmias post op due to a high volume of blood being removed (via the large mass being taken out).

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 11 months ago.

Time is of the essence with a bleeding mass in the belly. This is something that should probably be done in the next 24 hours. These animals can decompensated very quickly when they are actively bleeding. The other option is monitoring at home until she begins to fade. This is typically going to be respiratory distress and collapse. Another option would be humane euthanasia if she is actively sick.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 11 months ago.

In my experience, the surgery itself is not generally a problem, it is the post op recovery. Things can get very expensive when multiple hospital days and blood transfusions are involved. If the abdomen is full of cancer affecting other organs, they generally don't make it very long (days) after surgery. Most elect to euthanize if the abdomen is completely covered in tumors.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you so very much for your insight....... It truly helps in making the decisions we have. Thank you again.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 11 months ago.

You are very welcome.

I know this is a very hard decision to make.

I wish you both the best.

Have a great night.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 11 months ago.

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