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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  DVM for 19 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.
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My min pin has a big lump about the size of a golf ball on

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My min pin has a big lump about the size of a golf ball on his back at the base of his tail. The vet checked it to see if it has fluid in it, and it doesn't. It is hard. He drags his butt on the floor several times a day. He said it likely is a fatty tumor. The vet expressed his anal glands 2-3 weeks ago. He didn't suggest a biopspy, but said since he is 12 years old, removal of the tumor would be a major surgery for him.

Hello and thank you for asking your question. My name isXXXXX will try to help.

There is a sure way to tell if it is a fatty tumor. The vet can take a microscope slide, draw a sample out of the growth, and put it on the microscope slide. If it looks like, clear oil on the slide, then it s a fatty tumor and no need for concern as long as it is not bothering him.

If the sample the vet takes from the growth does not look like transparent oil, then it could be a benign tumor or cancerous tumor. So then the vet would take the sample on the microscope slide and look at it under the microscope. If the cells look suspicious, then the vet could take a small biopsy under some local anesthesia which means the tumor will be numb but a general anesthesia will not be used. If he is wiggly then he may need a little sedation.

Then you can find out if the growth is benign or cancerous.

Until you find out if it is a fatty tumor, another benign tumor, or cancerous then you will not know what to do or what options you have to choose from.

If your vet thinks it is a fatty tumor, I would have them put a sample on the microscope slide, confirm, and be done with it.

Cancerous tumors grow very rapidly. They double, or triple, size in a month.

If it is slow growing it is probably not cancerous.

If it is growing rapidly, I would definitely get it checked out.

Usually chronic anal itching is due to allergies. Unless the pet is having diarrhea.

Has anyone addressed her allergies and how to control them? It really sounds like allergies to me.

Food allergies and environmental allergies would be at the top of the list.
Beef, chicken, lamb, corn, wheat, and soy are the most common food allergens. Food allergies develop over months to years.
To determine if he has food allergies, he would need to be put on a completely hypo-allergenic diet for 6 weeks. The name of the hypo-allergenic diet is "hills z/d." It is a prescription diet and you have to get it from a veterinarian. There are no over the counter completely hypo-allergenic diets. It is only about $10-$15 more a month so it is not that bad if it fixes the skin issue. If his skin improves, then you know it is food allergies.

He could also have environmental allergies. This is called "atopy" or "atopic dermatitis." The dog's skin comes in contact with the allergens and then they are absorbed into the skin causing an allergic reaction. Your vet can do a blood allergy test to see what he is allergic to. Then he could receive allergy shots to desensitize him to the allergens. The allergy shots are 50-75% effective. We also treat atopy symptomatically with antihistamines, shampoos, topical creams and sprays, cortisone, and immune suppressing medications.
You can try human benadryl at a dose of 1 mg per pound every 12 hours.

If he is scooting, I would have his anal glands checked again.

They may be blocked up again or infected now.

He may need a course of antibiotics, or prednisone, to treat the infection or inflammation.

I hope this helps.

If you have additional questions, please reply.


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Hi Louise,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Raven. How is everything going?

Dr. Gabby
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Nothing has changed. I took him back to the vet to see if he'd do a biopsy. He said he didn't really think it's more than a fatty lump and he thought the biopsy would be hard on him to heal, and if we found it was malignant, did I want to put him through chemo. He said he could refer me to a specialist (100 miles away), and it'd be very expensive to have it removed. (probably thousands). Not that I don't love Raven, but he is 12, and I can't afford to pay that. Vet assured me he isn't in any pain. The lump is so big, it'd be hard on Raven to have it removed and heal. It is in a very delicate place, on the top side at the base of his tail and extends a little beside his anus on the underside.