Pets

Dog has Cancer Lump, facing dilemma.

  • Last Updated:
  • May 15th, 2017 3:43 am
Tags:
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
7988 posts
1127 upvotes

Dog has Cancer Lump, facing dilemma.

Hi everyone, please no judgement, we are facing a diffucult decision this week and would like some opinions. Our yellow lab of 11.5 years has a lump on his side that has been tested positive for Cancer, the vet is recommending removing it, our dog also has some early stage kidney issues. for the most part, hes happy, healthy, and shows no discomfort other then peeing more then he used to.

since hes 11.5 years old, im very hesistant to put him in for surgery and the potential followup surgeries and potentially massive vet bill that can come along with it. My Wife is pretty much in the same position as me, i feel like if this was 5 years ago, it would be a no brainer, do the surgary, but hes 11.5 years old, yes he could live to be 20 and break some record, but in reality, hes in his target lifespan of 10-12 years. Already this week we are down 500$ from xrays, checkup, special meds for his kidney, now they want 600$ more to do the surgery, with no guarentees it will stop the cancer or if it has already spread.

Im leaning towards no treatment, and when the day comes he shows signs of suffering, to put him to sleep at that point.

Any opinions out there from people in similar situations?
20 replies
Sr. Member
Mar 19, 2013
526 posts
134 upvotes
Prince Albert, Sask.
Not an easy decision. Your wife and you have thought it through. You will make the right decision. Myself, if he/she is in no pain, enjoy the time with them. I have 3 dogs, my oldest turned 17 last week. He has numerous lumps, no pain, still active. We have ruled out surgery, two things, could he survive the surgery and there is a cost. Not cheap. I agree with your thinking. Hope you get some extended time with your dog. Thanks for sharing.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 19, 2012
1612 posts
163 upvotes
if it was just the kidney issue, i would do everything to prolong his life

can they can remove the tumor and stop cancer from spreading?

at least let them remove the tumor

500 and 600 is not much money considering

just remember it's only money.. you can always make money

but if you put your pets life in dollar and cents then you have bigger issues

the guilt will rot away at you and your wife

what if.. you could of done something to help your pet
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
2969 posts
1020 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Tough issue. That is why I have vet insurance. I don't ever want finances to have any bearing on whether or not I go ahead with a treatment path. I'm so sorry for you dealing with this issue.

My dogs are like children to me (well, I do have a grown daughter - but she doesdn't like me as much as my dogs do lol).
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
7988 posts
1127 upvotes
Chickinvic wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 2:27 pm
Tough issue. That is why I have vet insurance. I don't ever want finances to have any bearing on whether or not I go ahead with a treatment path. I'm so sorry for you dealing with this issue.

My dogs are like children to me (well, I do have a grown daughter - but she doesdn't like me as much as my dogs do lol).
its not so much finiances, yes i cringe when paying the bill, but we make a decent salary, i keep thinking in my head im throwing money at a problem that isnt going to get better. today its 500, next week its 600, then maybe its 2000, who knows, when my dog is nearing the end of his life anyways. i keep thinking maybe its best to just let him be, maybe he will be ok for 6 months, maybe 12, who knows.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
7988 posts
1127 upvotes
bluenose2 wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 11:33 am
if it was just the kidney issue, i would do everything to prolong his life

can they can remove the tumor and stop cancer from spreading?

at least let them remove the tumor

500 and 600 is not much money considering

just remember it's only money.. you can always make money

but if you put your pets life in dollar and cents then you have bigger issues

the guilt will rot away at you and your wife

what if.. you could of done something to help your pet
i think you have to consider cost, some cancer treatments are 10,000$ +, while we love our dog, i would never spend that kind of cash on my pet.

As for stopping the cancer, its all "maybes" from the vet, nothing is guarenteed.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 19, 2012
1612 posts
163 upvotes
rocking23nf wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 2:34 pm
its not so much finiances, yes i cringe when paying the bill, but we make a decent salary, i keep thinking in my head im throwing money at a problem that isnt going to get better. today its 500, next week its 600, then maybe its 2000, who knows, when my dog is nearing the end of his life anyways. i keep thinking maybe its best to just let him be, maybe he will be ok for 6 months, maybe 12, who knows.
Don't let money be the deciding factor

It's the quality of life for your dog

Is it worth saving?

Money you can always make, especially with the good salary you mentioned
Sr. Member
Apr 25, 2011
590 posts
202 upvotes
British Columbia
As long as your dog appears to be healthy otherwise and the only issue is kidneys (they can have this issue for years) then I would go ahead with surgery if money isn't an issue. Then you can say you've done everything you can within reason. It is true it is costly but that is part of pet ownership...
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
2952 posts
437 upvotes
Karala wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 2:50 pm
As long as your dog appears to be healthy otherwise and the only issue is kidneys (they can have this issue for years) then I would go ahead with surgery if money isn't an issue. Then you can say you've done everything you can within reason. It is true it is costly but that is part of pet ownership...
Agreed. Actually for the tests you have had and only $600 for removal of the lump (I realize this is an initial charge) - and I do hate to use the word "only" but we had surgery on a much younger dog and paid several thousands of dollars - he was the dog of our lives. We have loved them all but this guy was super special.

What was the recommendation of your vet with respect to the cancerous lump? I wouldn't even worry at this point about the kidney issues. As Karala said, kidney issues can be handled to a degree, depending on their nature. At the moment it does not sound as if your dog's kidney issues are that serious.

Yes, your pup is most likely near the end of his targeted lifespan, but then you never know. We had a dog live to be just shy of 20 whose suggested lifespan was 14 years. He was good up until the very end - and then he wasn't.

Also, what treatment options did your vet suggest for your pup's kidney issues - some kidney issues are mild, others are not?

You and your wife will have a hard decision to make, but in this case I personally would go with having the surgery. You are correct in that the price can go from $600 to $2,000 to $8,000. This is where your relationship with your vet will play a big part. But for me the $600 would be worth having my pup live longer. If you knew for a fact that the cancer had spread then my answer would be different.

However, only you and your wife can make this decision. Best of luck with whatever you decide.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
2952 posts
437 upvotes
Chickinvic wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 2:27 pm
Tough issue. That is why I have vet insurance. I don't ever want finances to have any bearing on whether or not I go ahead with a treatment path. I'm so sorry for you dealing with this issue.

My dogs are like children to me (well, I do have a grown daughter - but she doesdn't like me as much as my dogs do lol).
We have pet insurance as well. Too bad it doesn't cover rechecks. Especially considering his issues with his corneas (not PRA). Our current dog (we have had multiple pets over the years - often many at one time) is like our child as well. He turned 13 the other day - where has the time gone?
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
7988 posts
1127 upvotes
Blanche123 wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 4:50 pm
Agreed. Actually for the tests you have had and only $600 for removal of the lump (I realize this is an initial charge) - and I do hate to use the word "only" but we had surgery on a much younger dog and paid several thousands of dollars - he was the dog of our lives. We have loved them all but this guy was super special.

What was the recommendation of your vet with respect to the cancerous lump? I wouldn't even worry at this point about the kidney issues. As Karala said, kidney issues can be handled to a degree, depending on their nature. At the moment it does not sound as if your dog's kidney issues are that serious.

Yes, your pup is most likely near the end of his targeted lifespan, but then you never know. We had a dog live to be just shy of 20 whose suggested lifespan was 14 years. He was good up until the very end - and then he wasn't.

Also, what treatment options did your vet suggest for your pup's kidney issues - some kidney issues are mild, others are not?

You and your wife will have a hard decision to make, but in this case I personally would go with having the surgery. You are correct in that the price can go from $600 to $2,000 to $8,000. This is where your relationship with your vet will play a big part. But for me the $600 would be worth having my pup live longer. If you knew for a fact that the cancer had spread then my answer would be different.

However, only you and your wife can make this decision. Best of luck with whatever you decide.
for the liver they put him on meds that cost 140$ per month, blood work again after 1 month, maybe continue on the meds.

the vet did recommend removing the lump, but offered no guarentees that the cancer will be gone (i understand that)
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
2952 posts
437 upvotes
OP, are the liver meds for life or just for 1 month pending another blood test? Our dog has to have periodic blood tests as well due to an issue with his eyes and the meds he is taking. And of course 2 types of prescription eye drops twice daily plus an OTC eye product 3 times a day.

If you trust your vet I would remove the lump. $600 is really an excellent price and if it gives you even a year longer with your pup then it will be worth it. You are basically looking at most likely a year or two at the most based on your dog's life. I would do it with our 13 year old dog - he could live to be 15 or 20 - his breed is all over the map.

There are no guarantees in this life that is for certain.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
7988 posts
1127 upvotes
Blanche123 wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 5:17 pm
OP, are the liver meds for life or just for 1 month pending another blood test? Our dog has to have periodic blood tests as well due to an issue with his eyes and the meds he is taking. And of course 2 types of prescription eye drops twice daily plus an OTC eye product 3 times a day.

If you trust your vet I would remove the lump. $600 is really an excellent price and if it gives you even a year longer with your pup then it will be worth it. You are basically looking at most likely a year or two at the most based on your dog's life. I would do it with our 13 year old dog - he could live to be 15 or 20 - his breed is all over the map.

There are no guarantees in this life that is for certain.
scenario A
Meds for 1 month, then blood work, all is good, stop meds
B
Meds for 1 month, blood work, showing improvents, repeat meds and bloodwork every month.
C
Meds for 1 month, blood work, no improvement, or worse, re-evaluate other treatment.
Jr. Member
Apr 18, 2008
181 posts
39 upvotes
Vancouver
Average life span for my dog is 13-15 years. My dog is 17 now. I think with the new technology nowadays, dogs average life span is longer than previously anticipated.

If money is not an issue, I'd do it. Side effects can be managed with medications. The last few years are the most previous years of having your dog.
Deal Addict
Sep 2, 2010
1349 posts
404 upvotes
Ontario
rocking23nf wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 10:43 am
the vet is recommending removing it,

now they want 600$ more to do the surgery, with no guarentees it will stop the cancer or if it has already spread.

Since your vet is recommending removing it, I would take his advice if you trust him, but it doesn't sound like you do.
I wouldn't let the kidney issue be the tipping point. You stand to get some golden years with your dog.

Top