Lumps

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Xatra

Boxer Pal
Yesterday I found two small lumps on the stomach of my female Boxer, Zaynah. :( Today I took her to a local veterinarian which turned out to be not much more than a vaccination and neuter clinic. I relocated two years ago, dogs haven't had any health problems until now and I haven't found a vet I like around here, a very rural area. The local vet diagnosed them as "dermal masses" and recommended that they be removed but seemed somewhat unsure of what else to do. I brought up the possibility of other masses being inside her since I just found these two yesterday, suggested a biopsy, maybe x-rays, ultrasound, etc. and he said he doesn't have any of that kind of equipment and referred me to an oncologist in Grand Rapids, over an hour from here. He said the closest vet with an ultrasound is in Grand Rapids. That's fine; I'll take her wherever she needs to go but do I really need an oncologist at this point, when she hasn't even been diagnosed with cancer? I can manage to pay for her treatment, to a point anyway, but do not have a lot of extra money. I would appreciate some suggestions about what I should do next, go directly to the oncologist or to another general practice vet with more equipment and experience. Today's visit just wasted $26. What questions should I ask them on the phone to determine which other vet to set up an appointment with? What should they recommend be done next?
 

tianthai

Completely Boxer Crazy
My dog had some small (I don't know what you call it in English) round thing on his back leg. It did not seem to disturb him at all but I was not sure what it was so I took him to see the vet. The vet told me that since he was a Boxer; they saw this small thing as lump and advised us to have it removed which we did (after visiting three more vets to make sure they had the same opinion about Boxer and lump). Now we are waiting for the result. Is it possible for you to get to the nearest vet and ask for advice?
 

DyckDogs

Boxer Insane
I think going to an oncologist is jumping the gun.
You need to find a new vet that can look at the lump and determine if it needs to be removed, and if so, is able to perform the surgery to do so.
I would be concerned about a vet that appears to be "unsure" of what else to do and does not have what I consider basic equipment (x-ray) in their office.
If he is unsure of how to proceed with something like this, I would not have warm fuzzy feelings about taking my baby there for something that was an emergency and potentially life threatening.
 

Xatra

Boxer Pal
My dog had some small (I don't know what you call it in English) round thing on his back leg. It did not seem to disturb him at all but I was not sure what it was so I took him to see the vet. The vet told me that since he was a Boxer; they saw this small thing as lump and advised us to have it removed which we did (after visiting three more vets to make sure they had the same opinion about Boxer and lump). Now we are waiting for the result. Is it possible for you to get to the nearest vet and ask for advice?
I do think Zaynah's lumps should be removed and biopsied at least. I just need to find a good vet to do that, and whatever else may need to be done. I've now been to the two nearest vets to here and been unimpressed with both. The other I visited a year or so ago to have both of my dogs just checked out and to try and establish a relationship with a local vet but that place was also a very small building, seemed to be mostly for vaccinations and neutering, kind of doubt they have an x-ray machine, ultrasound or any other major equipment. The first vet I saw had never heard of Canidae dog food which I was feeding at the time and the vet I saw yesterday seemed shocked that I am now feeding my dogs a raw diet. I want a vet more up to date on what is best for my dogs. I've searched online and few vets in the area seem to have websites so I'd like some advice on what questions to ask on the phone to determine which other vet to set up an appointment with.

I would be concerned about a vet that appears to be "unsure" of what else to do and does not have what I consider basic equipment (x-ray) in their office. If he is unsure of how to proceed with something like this, I would not have warm fuzzy feelings about taking my baby there for something that was an emergency and potentially life threatening.
I agree completely, and will never return to that vet. How do I find a good one? I was a bit spoiled in my previous location as it was very close to a vet school which had much of the latest information and technology and I took my dogs there for everything from routine stuff to cancer treatment. The nearest vet school to here is four hours away.
 

Xatra

Boxer Pal
The vet told me that since he was a Boxer; they saw this small thing as lump and advised us to have it removed which we did (after visiting three more vets to make sure they had the same opinion about Boxer and lump). Now we are waiting for the result.
I hope your dog's lump was benign. Is the logical next step for Zaynah to have her lumps removed and biopsied? Or should she be x-rayed and/or ultrasounded to look for other possible masses too? When choosing a vet to remove them, are there any other aspects of the surgery I should check into besides making sure they do not use acepromazine?
 

tianthai

Completely Boxer Crazy
I have just got a result back, his lump was a low grade tumor, luckily to be caught on time. The vet did take a lot of issue around the lump to make sure there is nothing cancerous left. I would recommend you to take your dog to see another vet asap. The vet used anaesthesia on my dog and she told me all about the drugs that should not be used with Boxer (former Boxer owner herself) so you have to make sure that your vet knows about it, especially ACE. I asked her about the whole procedure. I brought the dog in at 8am and about 12.30 she called me to let me know that he was doing fine, I could go and get him at 3pm.
First you have to find a vet that you feel comfortable with and have confidence, this one is my 6th vet in Dubai since I moved here in May. I love the way she explains things to me and takes her time to explain and my dog loves her, he always give her a face licking LOL and she also calls herself "auntie" while talking to my dog.
 

Xatra

Boxer Pal
Thank you, Tianthai. I'm glad your dog's results were good, and wish you continued good luck with no recurrence.

I found this vet that seems like it might be decent, also in Grand Rapids so over an hour from here but probably less expensive and more appropriate at this point than the oncologist, they also have an ultrasound machine and Zaynah has an appointment there next Thursday for an examination, blood tests, x-rays, tumor removal and biopsy. They do use acepromazine but I was told I could request that it not be used on Zaynah, which I will definitely do. I also e-mailed them this link as they did not seem aware of any risk from Ace with Boxers.

I sure hope my dogs and I like this vet. Besides seeming to have very little knowledge, experience or equipment, the vet we saw two days ago, when I told him I wanted to discuss other options and do what is best for Zaynah rather than just have him remove the tumors, launched into this bizarre analogy about how she is my property and I can do whatever I want with her, like he could take a 1975 pickup truck and spend many thousands to have it completely restored to like new condition if he wanted to. I WISH some amount of money would always be able to fix health problems, but feel comparing a dog to an inanimate object was inappropriate and insensitive.
 

tianthai

Completely Boxer Crazy
Good luck and do not forget to tell them NOT TO USE ACE with your baby. They usually do everything since they put him under anaethesia. This was how the vet found out about my dog's condition with sub aortic stenosis. GOOD LUCK and keep us update!
 

Cami

Boxer Insane
If these are the first two lumps/bumps you have ever noticed I would suggest that you have this vet perform a needle aspiration. They can take the contents of the aspiration and look at them under a microscope and get an idea of what they contain while you are in the exam room.
This method is not always 100% accurate but in certain situations a good vet who has many years of experience can *usually* determine what your next course of action should be.
If they are cancerous, perhaps a mast cell tumor, it's not necessary to take x-rays. An ultrasound would be a good next step however MCT's (on Boxers) are not likely to spread to internal organs (if they are a lower grade).

If you have no other symptoms other than the lumps themselves you don't have anything to look for internally (if that makes sense)?

That being said there are other forms of treatment for mast cell tumors aside from surgical removal however surgical removal is the most performed means of treatment, especially with a traditional vet (not oncologist).

I have a lengthy thread regarding my own girls battle and TRIUMPH with mast cell tumors and various treatments. Believe me when I say that I am not trying to talk you out of doing what you feel is best but it does seem (and I can't believe I am saying this) that you perhaps are going to be spending money that you might not need to spend. The x-rays for example.....If they take them and see something they will suggest an ultrasound to get a better picture. If they don't find anything via the x-rays they may suggest an ultrasound anyhow! I would forgo the x-ray expense and just jump to the ultrasound.
Blood tests are always a good thing when any type of sedation will be used and an ultrasound simply by-passes anything an x-ray could miss. It sees so much more.
If this vet does a thorough exam and palpitates the body for masses, checks the lymph nodes for enlargement and finds nothing you should be on the safe side with just treating the lumps themselves. When a cancerous lumps spreads cancer through the body it does so via the lymph nodes and could end up in an organ. They would be enlarged *typically*. Again nothing is 100%.

Here's hoping you like the new vet and these masses are just something benign!
 

Xatra

Boxer Pal
Thanks a lot for all the advice.

Zaynah had surgery yesterday to remove the tumors, they did a needle aspiration and found no suspicious cells before surgery and a histopathology afterward confirmed this so a biopsy was not even recommended. :) What a relief. All of her blood test results were good and all the vets and staff say she looks great especially for an eight year old, with very clean teeth due to the raw diet. This vet seems pretty good, definitely much better than the other two I've visited in Michigan. They don't seem to think there is any problem with giving acepromazine to Boxers in general despite me e-mailing them that AKC link but agreed not to give it to mine. Zaynah is recovering very well from the surgery, and in fact I had to close the bedroom door and the dog door to keep her from doing too much outside or jumping up onto the bed. She's on Rimadyl for a week for pain and inflammation. Her sutures come out in two weeks and that's when she's allowed to run and play as much as she wants again, just in time for the arrival of our newest pack member, a flashy brindle Boxer puppy named Koda. :)
 
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