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Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1660
Experience:  10 years of experience in Small Animal Practice
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We have a golden labrador about eight years old we have had

Customer Question

We have a golden labrador about eight years old we have had a diagnosis of a growth on the liver he has not eaten for about four days and we cannot get him to eat what they have said is if he doesn't eat in the next couple of days he will need to be put to sleep can you help us
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your questions. My name is***** and I have been a small animal veterinarian for 14 years and I'd like to help with your question but I would like more information.

I'm sorry to hear about your boy. Can you tell me what things are being done to help him feel better now. Is he on any antinausa medication? Any other medications? When was the mass diagnosed and has he lost a lot of weight?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Nikki is out and ultrasound they have seen the growth on his liver he has lost quite a bit of weight he has some spleen damage leaking internally all the liver and spleen blood counts are down he has had blood test's he has had Cortizone injections but no medication
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 5 years ago.

Okay.... so here are a few things to consider that might help you. First, the decision to put him to sleep is entirely your decision. Your veterinarian may try to advocate for Niki if he feels that he is suffering and may discuss it with you, but it is up to you know know your boy and make that decision.

The second concern is.... is the mass treatable in any way. Unfortunately the fact that they are seeing changes in both the spleen and liver is a bad sign. If it is both organs then it is likely malignant and already spreading so there is no treatment that is going to cure it. There might be some options for chemotherapy, but I wouldn't recommend them... they will likely make Niki more sick and are not likely to extend his life by a significant amount of time.

So, unfortunately, you are facing the difficult decision of what to do if this mass is making him sick and can not be cured. The decision is between putting him to sleep or doing everything you can to make him comfortable. If he is not eating, he may benefit from some antinausea medication. I like Cerenia, but there are others. And although it is hard to know if they are in pain, I would definitely consider pain medication such as tramadol. If you are addressing any pain an nausea he might have and offering him the tastiest things you can and he is still not eating then you have to face that decision of euthanasia again. I don't try to force them to eat with appetite stimulants or feeding tubes because they are usually not eating for a reason.... either it is physically painful when their stomach fill or it make them want to throw up and those are not good feelings so I don't push the food more than they are willing to accept and voluntarily eat.

I wish I had more promising advice, but I hope that helps. If you have more questions please let me know.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We have just given him some purify chicken and he has he eaten it And as drunk some water I'm just maybe stabbing in the dark here but do you think there is anything that can be done to look at him he is wagging his tail he doesn't seem to be in any distress or pain his stomach is disstended you can clearly see , he is a fine dog and we would do anything for him , the main concern is we don't want to see him in pain, this is heartbreaking
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 5 years ago.

It is heartbreaking, especially given that he isn't that old. I do think that pain relief and anti nausea medications would help him feel better and maybe eat better, but as far and things to do to help with the mass... it is very limited.

The short answer is yes, there are things that can be done. You could take him to a surgeon and they could go it an removed his spleen and see if there is any possibility of removing the liver mass. The liver is a critical organ so it may not be possible to remove the mass if it would do too much damage to the liver. The problem with this approach is that even if they removed the masses.... the fact that there are problems in 2 organs usually means that the cancer has spread and that surgery will not help much. There are also several chemotherapy protocols in dog. These chemotherapy drugs are expensive and have a number of side effects. With some cancer types (like lymphoma) they can work well, but with other cancer types they are not very successful. They were not able to get a sample of the mass when they did the ultrasound to identify the tumor type were they? If is happened to be lymphoma it might be worth pursuing chemotherapy. But for many tumor types the side effects of the chemo are just not worth putting them through for such a small chance at successful treatment.