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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28346
Experience:  25 years of experience in large and small animal medicine.
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Yesterday I took my 8/9 year old rottie to vet for a swelling

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Yesterday I took my 8/9 year old rottie to vet for a swelling on her lower leg joint (knee?) about 5 inches up from her foot) they have indicated that they think it is tumour - quite common in rotties apparently. Given the way it looks and how it came about. they have suggested in order to know I need blood tests, liver function etc chest xrays and xrays of the leg to confirm and check for spread. my dilemma is that these will cost approx. £500. I don't think I would put her through chemo. amputation is an option if there is no spread but at nearly 9 years old, with not the best hips and being quite chunky - shes not overweight- I wonder how she would cope with only three legs? and obviously there are not guareentee that it won't manifest itself elsewhere. - apparently that's very common too. if I leave her - and just get pain medication apparently shes at risk of breaking the leg just by jumping of the sofa or something. (she does like to sneak up when i'm not looking!) am I wasting the 500 just to confirm that that what it is? will it change anything if I know for sure? But equally what if its not? are all tumours likely to be cancerous? money is not the deciding factor although i don't have a bottomless supply and I don't want to start something I can't see through to the end. pet insurance had to be cancelled last year when my husband lost his job. I want whats best for my dog. any help or advise would be greatly appreciated

Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.

Because of Maggie's age, what your vet is recommending is appropriate if money is not an issue. Since this will all cost a lot of money, you can ask your vet to biopsy this mass to know for sure if this is a metastatic bone cancer or a benign lesion that can be removed. On order to do this, anesthesia is required so your vet will run a blood test to be sure that Maggie can handle the anesthesia or if there is evidence of liver or kidney disease.

If this is bone cancer that is severe, even amputation and/or chemotherapy does not give Maggie very long...estimates are 3-6 months maximum because this bone cancer is so invasive. Most people would rather give Maggie a good quality of life for whatever time she has left rather than going the distance which is very difficult for her.

make sure you get the information first before going through expensive xrays and scans...Maggie will do better this way and it will be easier on you.

Does that make sense to you?

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you.

Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX

Hi Sandra...please let me know if you have other questions...I know this is very scary. I am happy to help.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So do you think I am wrong to leave her and give her the best quality time she has with just pain medication? if the prognosis is so short term? is there anything else she could have drugs wise that may help? or am I better saying goodbye now before she gets worse. I don't want to prolong her suffering?

If this is bone cancer, I think , if this were my precious Maggie, I would keep her pain free until the medications no longer give her a good quality of life....this is a very hard thing, Sandra, because only you can know for sure when the time is right....

I know you do not want to prolong her suffering and, Sandra, in most cases, Maggie willl tell you in her own way that she is ready....

When the pain is not responding to regular meidcations such as Tramadol, we use Fentanyl Patches which are very strong...if this is not enough, then this is teh time to ease her suffering, Sandra.
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