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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32718
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My 13 year old Saluki has a granular mass on the right side

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My 13 year old Saluki has a granular mass on the right side of his chest. Bout the size of a grape. Can I avoid an operation cos I am worried that he will not get through the anaesthetic.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am sorry for the delay in response. If you would like to continue can you please answer a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has he had the mass?
2- Is bothering him?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He has had a small lump there for well over 12 months but he is slightly prone to these lumps and they are generally very slow growing and cause no irritation or problems. This one has significantly increased in size over the last month or so and is now poking through the skin and showing as a granular mass about the size of a grape. It is showing no sign of infection and only bothers him when he first wakes in the morning. And then he chews at it but stops as soon as I spray the tea tree skin calm. Otherwise he doesn't seem bothered by it. For his age he is pretty healthy and fit and eats and exercises well.
Susanne, to determine the exact nature of the lump I would recommend you speak to your family veterinarian about doing an FNA (fine needle aspirate); this is a very quick test where your vet will collect a sample of the cells with a needle. Requires no anesthesia, inexpensive when compared to a biopsy and can be done within minutes during an office examination. Your vet will most likely submit the sample to a lab to be evaluated under the microscope for a definitive diagnosis. The decision of benign neglect or complete surgical removal should be made based on FNA results.
If upon FNA results your vet recommends surgical removal they will be doing pre anesthetic evaluation like blood work, xrays, etc. to make sure Beau can be anesthesized safely. For now, the first place to start would be finding out the type of mass by collecting a tissue sample as described above.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dog is called Alchemist not Beau but not a problem cos he only answers to 'biscuit'!
What is the worst scenario if I choose not to do anything?
Susanne, I am sorry for confusing the name. I had another patient with a similar situation named Beau.

The worst case scenario would be the mass to be a malignant tumor that will either be very locally invasive or spread to other vital organs in the body. For this reason it is important to find out the type of mass so that we can predict or know what to expect. On physical exam or history alone it is not possible to determine the exact type of mass in most cases. The cells need to be evaluated under a microscope for a definitive diagnosis.

Please reply if you have additional questions.

Again, sorry for the name confusion. The Alchemist is one of the my favorite books.

Dr. Peter