So about 3 weeks ago I made an appt. for the vet to look at it. I ended up having to work that day so a friend took him in for me, and called me while she was there.
The vet said she didn't know what exactly it was, and suggested a biopsy, to which I of course said, go ahead and do it.
She called back a week later and said that the cells looked 'suspicious', and that if I wanted a 'true' biopsy done, it'd be about 900 dollars because it would have to be sent out...
Now, I was quite perturbed at this because I paid 213 dollars for the initial 'biopsy' where she aspirated it and drained some fluid. Well, for a week afterwards it was draining on its own, a puss-type fluid, and bleeding.
It is just above his anus, approx. 2in. He has the type of tail that curls up and around his back, but when its down when he's sleeping, and his tails folds down, the bump lays directly on his anus. When he's sitting, the bump on his tail is the part of his tail that is in direct contact with the floor/couch/bed, whatever he's sitting on. (in case this extra background helps, I dont know if it does)
Now, I am trying to decide what to do. Pay the 900 bucks to have a supposed 'true' biopsy done? go to another vet (there's one about an hour away) for a second opinion (probably what i'll do), or just pay to have the thing excised? I'm not being cheap, this isnt an issue of money, but I dont think paying 900 bucks for a biopsy is worht it when there's a chance I'll pay another thousand for surgery to remove it anyways.. if that's even something that needs to be done. Is it common? Is it completely safe for him to have it? I just want to do what's best for him, and just like anyone, I'd rather pay 1,000 than 1,900, wasting the 900..
It's got at least one vein running through it, it looks to me.. but it does not seem to hurt him. I can touch it and he wont flinch anymore than he does when anything goes near his bum :) hehe.
Anyways, opinions/thoughts would be awesome from you guys. You've always been so helpful in the past, with Dokker's illness and his passing.
I would get the second opinon. Ringo Starr, one of my old dogs I had, had a lump that looked just like that but on his chest. It was about that size when I found it but grew huge over time. They never could figure out what it was but he got cancer from it and had to be put down at 3 years old. We even got the 900$ biopsy done and they still couldn't figure it out but by the time the vet suggested it be removed it had spread too far. Get a second opinon and if they say what the other vet says I would go ahead and remove it and then monotor him just to make sure nothing else is wrong. Hope everything is alright!
If it were my dog I would have it removed. For the following reasons:
1) It's draining all over the place
2) A biopsy would remove a portion of it anyway might as well take the entire thing and be done with it only knocking him out once.
3) If the biopsy comes back bad you'll have it removed anyway.
If you have it removed you don't have to have it sent off to the lab right away. Most veterinarians will hold on to the lump for you keeping it preserved in case you wish to have it sent of at a later time.
(in my NONEXPERT opinion I think it looks like a cyst. Also the fact that it is draining leads me to believe that)
***Edited By: pwcorgilover on 9/24/2006 12:53:51 PM*** Reason: add
Just to clarify, it wasn't draining at all until she punctured it with the needle, and then it was only for less than a week. It's completely solid and not draining anymore at all.
I do not trust the vet that I have taken him to, as it's the same office who essentially was not knowledgable enough to save my Dokker. (long story, presented with EVERY symptom of a poisoning imaginable, which I discovered through researching it after he died.. and a possible poisoning never entered their mind.. until some xray tech they called in at two in the morning took one single look at him and said, my god that pup has been poisoned, get him vitamin k immediately and transfer him to the hospital in appleton..but it was too late, he died in my arms on the way there)
ANYWAYS.. point is, I'm very untrusting of this place now, so for the past week I've been researching vets within a three hour radius to take him to. So, I will be calling one that I found about an hour and a half away, who was referred to me by members of dogster who used to live in my area and went to him.
I originally took Dook to that vet only because it was my only option, and what I thought would be at least a good starting point on this bump. I think I was wrong, though, but since it didnt seem to me to be immediately life threatening, I basically thought, well.. they didn't do my otehr dog justice, perhaps they will be more cautious.. and I demanded the appt be with the actual owner, not the partner I saw with Dokker.
Ok Im getting long winded here. haha sorry.
To the point, thank you both for your thoughts on this. I'm still interested in hearing everything anyone has to offer, but I'm sure I will be calling this new vet tomorrow morning to make an appt this week. We'll see what he says.
Okay I'm sorry I didn't know the whole story. I assume you live in a small town and have only one veterinarian there or something like that. I am EXTREMELY picky about the veterinarian my animals see. As a matter of fact I pass at least 3 offices on the way to them. When I lived in California I drove 45 minutes one way on a good day to my favorite veterinarian. Their lives are too important to trust to just anyone!
go to another vet. this one doesnt seem to be much "in the know". i see lumps like that and mast cell comes to mind. surely nothing to play around with. mast cell advances in stages. early detection is of the uttmost importance. a biopsy is a biopsy. period. it is done to detect what the abnormality is. biopsy's do not come in stages. if that were the case, i think all of us would go for the "true" one and avoid any preliminaries and the added cost. no one wants to pay out money for an "i think it could be" biopsy. when it comes to our babies, we want to know the "this is what it is". you are not happy with the vet that you saw. you have doubts. if you are not totally confident in that vet, then by all means, find another. one that you feel in your heart is doing all they can for your pet.
this is what mast cell tumors can look like. hopefully it is not what your baby has. if it is and is treated quickly, it can have an excellent cure rate. keep us posted and i will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
Again, I have no experience in something like that...but I would talk to the vet about all the possibilities.
Good luck, and I hope that I don't upset you...but I thought you would like to know that I really enjoyed little Dokker and I will never forget him or his tragic story. I tell it often to people I know just to spread the awareness.
Take care! Fingers crossed!
***Edited By: pope1982 on 9/24/2006 1:36:39 PM*** Reason: ...
thanks guys, all great points. I'm calling this vet I found tomorrow morning to make an appt.
And I do live in a smaller town, there are three vets here that I know of, and the vet I've been talking about is the place my parents have always taken our dogs, although none of them ever had any problems. Just routine shots and such. I seem to have a little worse luck :( The other two I've heard horror stories about, so when I moved back here about six months ago, I of course went with my family's vet. My mom feels terrible considering she 'highly recommended' them. But, being nice and being able to give routine shots are NOT the same as being able to handle less-than-routine matters.
And pope, please do share the story, and no it doesn't upset me. Having him remembered, talking about him, telling his story.. all good things and things that wouldnt upset me :) I would love to know that his tragedy saves even one dog in the world from the traumatic experience his death was.
Just Friday I had the courage to bring all of his leashes, collars, his kennel and the bedding for it in to the local shelter and donate it. Yeah, I cried when I got it all out of the basement (where I asked my fiance to put it when I was on my way home with Dokker's body.. I knew immediately that I couldn't handle seeing it all in its usual places in the house) , and yeah, it was 200 bucks worth of basically new stuff, but I felt it best to go where it was most needed, instead of keeping it or selling it or anything. Kind of more meaningful, and I dont think I'd have been able to do anything less purposeful with it.
Thanks for links too, guys, it definitely looks like the mast cell tumors, and I hope it can be removed quickly, with as little pain as possible, and most certainly with the happy ending :( Thanks for the prayers too, they'll be needed.
I hope everything turns out ok for you and Dook. I found a bump on my then 8 month old puppy that looked similar to Dook's. I took him to one vet who aspirated it, said she couldn't get any good cells, just a bunch of red blood cells, and recommended removing it after charging me $125 (that was without the biopsy charge). So I went ahead and scheduled the surgery and was given an estimate of $691. Not completely thrilled with that estimate and her dx, I took him to our other vets office the next day where they got a good cell sample and the vet also told me he thought it looked like a cutaneous histiocytoma, which is non-malignant and usually goes away on its own within 3 months. I waited for the cytology results, which came back as a histiocytoma and was very happy. But the thing kept getting bigger and started to bleed, so I took him back to the 2nd vet and had it removed and also had another biopsy done and my total bill was around $360. The biopsy came back the same as the original needle aspiration, but after experiencing lymphoma in a dog that the vet said just had fatty lipomas, I am very skeptical and wanted to be sure. Anyway, after rambling on, I just want to tell you that you are doing the right thing in seeing someone else and I hope Dook has a positive outcome like Tucker did. I'm still worried that he might get another one and we have his littermate so it's possible he will get them too. Good luck in the am.
This vet was great, he put one finger on each side of the lump, moved it around, kinda felt underneath it by pinching the skin together and quickly came to the conclusion that it's a 'insert random medical term here' that is basically a benign tumor-y thing that is on the SKIN ONLY. So it is not growing down inside, it doesn't have a 'tail' on it that is latched on to any important nerves, ligaments, bones, etc, as I feared.
His cost, for the pre-surgery bloodwork, the removal and to have it biopsied to be 100pct sure on it, is $294. I scheduled the surgery for Thursday morning. He said due to Dook's calm, good natured behavior, he knows he can remove it with only a sedation and local antisthetic vice putting him to sleep completely.
I asked if the results of the prior vet's fine needle aspiration (keep in mind, she charged me $214 to do one.. 80 bucks less than this guy is to REMOVE the dang thing) would be needed at all, and he said not at all, that he can't figure out for the life of him why she would even do one. His first thought in any male, neutered dog with something like this (a lump anywhere near the rear) is to simply get rid of it, no matter WHAT it is, because there's no reason not to. That it's a basic 15 minute procedure, so why would you want to do anything BUT remove it.
I showed him her estimate that it would cost me to get it removed ($914.80) and he said, wow, I'd have to not only double my prices, but pad that bill with the last four hundred bucks in order to come up with that type of price. He was saddened by this other vet's carelessness and that she takes advantage of people in this way (over 200 dollars of her estimate was listed as things like 'patient monitoring, and patient care, and patient wellness') And 200 dollars for bloodwork pre-surgery, which this guy is charging me 56.14 for, including the kennel cough shot..
And to think, over 1100 bucks I spent trying to save my Dokker there led only to his death, and was probably padded by about 600 bucks itself...
Oh well, lessons learned, and what's important is that Dookie is A-OK and getting this thing removed in two days!! yey! I just wish there was a way to tell the world about this vet ><
As an aside, they called dook an akita mix.. that's a first. bah, who knows what he is, besides cute!
***Edited By: Dookndokkermom on 9/26/2006 3:19:50 PM*** Reason: .