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Walter, Breeder
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11528
Experience:  Breeder and pet health consultant. Have spent a number of years with dog rescue, training and health
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11 year Labrador, diagnosed with stomach cancer, surgery complications

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My neighbor's dog, an 11 year old Labrador Retriever, was just diagnosed with stomach cancer. The tumor is the size of a softball already.
If he has surgery to remove the tumor, how likely is he to not only have the cancer metastasize elsewhere, but also to develop complications, or secondary health problems, from the surgery itself?

Hello and Welcome to Just Answer!

I have been with Just Answer since March 2006. Its my pleasure to work with you today!

Like humans, the treatment for stomach cancer in dogs involve use of two well known cancer treatment options; chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well as removal of the tumor. In case the ailment is detected in its early stages, chemotherapy drugs are useful to kill the cancer cells. Radiation therapy, to some extent can be beneficial to to stop the spread of cancer cells. But many a times, radiation is not recommended, as organs close to the the stomach are likely to get damaged.

Most stomach tumors detected are malignant. A dog diagnosed with malignant tumor has a very less probability of survival. This is because, it is observed that surgical removal of the tumor provides only temporary relief, as the tumor returns within 6-8 months and rapidly spreads to the other body organs. A malignant stomach cancer (carcinomas) in dogs is always life threatening due to its ability to invade adjacent organs such as the liver and the lungs. Dogs with malignant tumors generally do not live for more than 6-8 months. Treatment is not a remedy for malignant stomach cancer in dogs. It only helps to keep the dog alive for some more time.

As for what route you should take, it really depends on if it is Malignant or not. As for complications, at his age there is always a risk of complications or secondary infections. If he was younger and stronger then his risk would be much lower, but at his age and the fact that this is stomach cancer and not another cancer the risk is high for your boy.

Walter and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your prompt reply, Walter. I've since learned that the vet thinks the tumor is benign, because it is totally round, and fibrous in appearance. The vet thinks the dog might be able to live up to another 5 years, once the tumor is removed, and he recovers.

I do hope all goes well with the dog...his name is "Rex".
And I do appreciate your being there.
I did sign up for 30 days, as between my neighbor and I we always have lots of dog questions.

Thank you for being available.


Your very welcome Judy, and I am pleased to hear the vet thinks Rex has the benign tumor, its hard to get news such as cancer.

If you or your neighbor need anything please feel free to request me.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks Walter! My neighbor was grateful to know that somone cares enough to weigh in, with information, at this difficult time. Now they just need to raise the money for Rex's surgery!


Finding help in this economy is not going to be easy, but there are some programs she can sign up for to help pay the cost. Most programs are backed up but the good news is if you can get on the waiting list these tend to move fairly quickly. First call around to your local Humane Society and ask if they have any programs that can help if you have a human society.

There is also a site called wish upon a hero which can sometimes help. It is a person to person wishing site. I have seen wishes granted for medical conditions for dogs in the past, but there is no guarantees. (Though worth a shot). Here is the website

There is also a program called care credit which is a financing agency for situations such as this. Here is a link Care Credit allows you to finance procedures and pay back on monthly payment plans.

I also would suggest checking out this link with programs that help out as well: Please Click Here There are quite a few of organizations at this link which can help pay for the procedure.

I sure hope she raises the money, and if you need anything please do not hesitate to let me know. Since you have the unlimited plan you can ask as many questions as you like (And accept as many answers as you like) and it costs you nothing more then your subscription price (Plus your expert gets credit for the answers) Its a great program Just Answer is offering when you need help.

Again I wish Rex the best!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you so much, Walter...I will be sure to relay this information.

BTW: I've since learned that Rex's tumor might not even be in his stomach, but maybe in his intestines, since it is pushing his spine out of alignment.

You are appreciated!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Walter...My neighbor wants to does the vet know a dog is dehydrated, by looking at the dog's gums?

(I'm sorry if this comes to you 2 different ways...I forgot about using the Reply email, and went back in the way I did the first time...&:)



No you did fine. You can ask questions one of a few different ways.

1) Open a new thread (Just like you did your first question)


2) You can post it here on this thread (And I will answer)

The key is if you receive a satisfactory "Answer" that you accept the answer given so your expert (Me or anyone else if I am unable to assist you) can receive credit for the answer. Since you have the unlimited package you are free to accept as many answers as you like without incuring additional charges.

As for your new question. Signs of dehydration are pretty easy to spot following the rules below. All vets use these rules.

  • ARE THE DOG'S GUMS DRY AND STICKY? A normal, healthy dog's gums will be slick and wet. But when a dog is dehydrated, the dog's gums will be sticky and dry to the touch due to a loss of fluids within the dog's body.

  • HAS THE DOG'S SKIN LOST ELASTICITY? One of the symptoms of dehydration in dogs is a loss of elasticity in the skin. Try the following test: Pinch a bit of skin at the dog's scruff and pull it up into a "tent." A normal dog's skin will be very elastic, so when you release the "tent," the skin will flatten out and return to normal instantly. But in the case of a dehydrated dog, the skin will take one second or more to flatten out. The longer it takes the dog's skin to flatten out, the more severe the dog's dehydration.

  • Customer: replied 6 years ago.

    Maybe I've done something wrong with my account. I'll try to find out.

    Thanks for your help.


    Hi Judy,

    Thank you on behalf on Just Answer and myself for any good reviews! We love having happy customers!


    Customer: replied 6 years ago.

    Just for your information...Rex didn't have a tumor at all. What he had was a 3 lb. spleen!! A splenectomy later he is just like a puppy again.
    Thanks for everything~

    Your very welcome and I am so glad to hear Rex is doing fine!