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My dog was diagnosed w/a malignant tumor on her femoral

Customer Question
My dog was diagnosed...

My dog was diagnosed w/a malignant tumor on her femoral artery. He is a fine needle aspiration and said that it has removed. He thinks it may be encapsulated. What are the chances that it has spread or that it will come back?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the dog's name and age?

Gracie and she's 12 years old. She's a Beagle.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Correction to my miss spellings above: The vet tech did a fine needle aspiration and only a very small amount of blood came out. Since the tumor is laying on the femoral artery he said that it had to be removed or it would surely kill her. He said that if it is in fact encapsulated, there's a good chance that is hasn't spread. I don't want to put Gracie through this surgery if the outcome isn't favorable to her.
Answered in 3 hours by:
12/5/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dan C., DVM
Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,291
Experience: Four years of small animal practice experience while establishing my own Equine mobile practice.
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Good afternoon, and thank you for your question.

I am very sorry to hear about Gracie's condition. A malignant tumor attached to a major artery is indeed a potentially dangerous situation. I am more than happy to help you, but I need a bit more information concerning Gracie:

1): How is Gracie doing currently? Is she able to use the affected hind leg normally, and is she eating, drinking and acting normally otherwise?

2): Do you happen to remember the type (name) of the tumor that was described by your Vet?

3): Were there any further diagnostics performed concerning the tumor, such as X-Rays, ultrasound or bloodwork?

4): Was Gracie seen at a general medicine practice or was she seen by a specialist (University or specialty clinic)?

5): Does Gracie have any other medical problems?

Thanks, ***** *****'m looking forward to hearing from you.

-Dan C., DVM

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
She is currently doing OK. You can tell that her leg is uncomfortable she limps little bit but she doesn’t appear to be any pain. She doesn’t have any other health concerns that we know of. The vet did not tell us what type of tumor it was other than it was malignant. He also took xrays. This is what it says about our vet on his website: Dr. Andersen is our resident Surgeon and his specialties include Orthopedic and Soft Tissue surgery as well as Internal Medicine. I hope this answers your questions. I so appreciate any advice you have to offer.
Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Thanks for you prompt reply:

Without knowing the specific type of tumor that Gracie has, it is difficult to know if the tumor will spread. That being said, however, the majority of cancerous tumors can spread to other areas of the body by cancerous cells entering the bloodstream. That also causes a further problem, as the tumor is associated with the artery. During surgery with most malignant tumors, a wide margin must be cut surrounding the tumor in hopes of getting all of the cancerous cells, as they can be present even though it may not appear as such. If even one cancerous cell enters the bloodstream, that creates the potential for the cancer to spread elsewhere in the body (most often in the lungs). So, several suggestions for you: 1): Ask Dr. Andersen if he can refer you to a board-certified surgeon or oncologist (cancer specialist) and get a more definitive diagnosis. 2): Again, ask Dr. Andersen if a sample of the aspirate can be sent off to a diagnostic lab for identification, as that will help with Gracie's prognosis.3): As Gracie is 12 years of age, that is also a factor to be considered. Depending on the tumor type, it may or may not enlarge over time. If there is a chance that it is a type that doesn't spread easily, she may be fine by doing nothing for several more years, but again, you would need to know the particular type of cancer. I'd also recommend that you consider having her chest X-Ray'd, just to be sure that the cancer hasn't spread before any surgery was attempted, and in the unfortunate chance that it has spread, surgery would most likely no longer be of much help.

I hope that the above isn't too confusing, but there are many things to consider with this type of condition. Most importantly, it is necessary to find out what type of tumor that she has, and make sure that it hasn't spread to any other parts of her body.

I do hope I've been of some help to you, but if you have further questions or need any clarification, please don't hesitate to ask.

All the best to you and Gracie.

-Dan C., DVM

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you for your response and I will ask those questions of Dr Anderson. I’m curious, can you tell me what type of tumors there are and which ones tend not to spread easily?
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Another question, will the chest x-ray definitively tell whether the cancer has spread?
Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

There are numerous cancerous types of tumors, but some of the more common ones that can spread are carcinoma and hemangioma. These are two of the most common that we see in dogs that are very aggressive. As far as the X-Ray, no, it may not be definitive. If the cancer is in the early stages, it may not be visible on an X-Ray.

Thanks again, and if you have further questions, please let me know.

-Dan.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Sorry another question, what are the chances of cancer spreading by doing surgery? Is there a 10% chance, 50% chance etc.
Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

You're asking a tough question! As I mentioned earlier, the fact that the tumor is associated with the femoral artery enhances the chance that cancerous cells may enter the bloodstream, and again, it depends on the tumor type. That said, I rarely put percentages on situations such as this, (and also, I have seen a lot of miracles that have survived the supposed odds...!) but if this is a type that can spread easily, then I would have to say that the chances of it spreading are high, as there is no way to encorporate a large margin around the tumor.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

P.S. If you have the time and desire, please keep me posted as to Gracie's progress. IT's often frustrating not knowing how my "online patients" are doing...

Thanks.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you so much for your time and advice. I will keep you posted on Gracie’s progress.
Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

You are very welcome, and thank you too!

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Sorry to bother you again but you the vet had told us that with the tumor being on the femoral artery that if it wasn’t removed it would surely kill her. I was wondering what happens and is it painful for her if that happens? I’m scared that will happen before I can get her to the specialist. Also I’m noticing that she is keeping to herself this evening which is very unusual. Could that mean something?
Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Apologies for the delay.

I can't be sure of the thinking behind Dr. Andersen's statement, but the only reason that it would cause her death would be if the tumor spread to various organs, resulting in an eventual organ failure. Chances of a blood clot in this scenario is unlikely. As for Gracie's behavior tonight, she may be experiencing some pain, as you noted that she has been limping on her leg. If she continues with this behavior, or starts refusing her food, etc., I'd recommend having some bloodwork performed to check her organ function and blood cell counts (along with a chest X-ray to be on the safe side).

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Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Did Gracie's femur appear normal in the X-Ray?

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Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

And also, to further answer your question, this type of condition is normally not overly painful, unless it is in the end stages, and based on our conversations, I don't think it is at this point. Is her leg swollen at all, and what was the initial reason for Gracie being seen that led to the finding of the tumor?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Her leg isn’t swollen except for the tumor itself. The reason we originally took her in is that we noticed the slight limp and then felt the knot which ended up being the tumor.
Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Thanks. That makes sense. With that description, the tumor could be the type called a fibrosarcoma, yet again, that needs to be verified. These types can be locally aggressive, but don't normally spread. Again, I'm only postulating here. How is Gracie doing this morning?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
She’s doing the same so hopefully that’s good. Dr Anderson is out until Friday but I’m going to look for a specialist today in hopes of getting the tests done that you recommended. I’ll keep you informed as I learn more. Thank you again. You’ve been very helpful.
Dog Veterinarian: Dan C., DVM, Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

It has been a pleasure working with you. I look forward to hearing from you, and I send many good thoughts to Ms. Gracie.

=Dam.

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