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Discussion Starter #1
Heidi is 13 and doing well for her age I think, but somewhat in decline due to arthritis/HD. We are dealing with the rollercoaster of good day and bad days. I found a small lump on her chest, almost between her front legs a couple of weeks ago. It was about the size and consistency of a mosquito bite. Next day I couldn't find it, so forgot about it. Recently, I felt the lump again and it seemed a tiny bit larger to me. It does not seem to be bothering her in any way, does not seem to be painful, nor is it impairing her movement. I have decided not to call the vet. I figure taking her in would result in one of the following scenarios:

1. The vet would say it is nothing, just a fatty cyst and just keep an eye on it. Result: Heidi would go through the stress of going and I would be out about $50.
2. They would want to do a biopsy. Result: Heidi would be more stressed. I would be out about $100 (or more) and either:
a. it would turn out to be nothing, just keep an eye on it, or
b. cancer would be diagnosed and I would reject treatment

The thing is that I wouldn't embrace cancer treatment at Heidi's age, so I am thinking why go looking for trouble? I figure I will keep an eye on the lump and if it begins to be a problem to Heidi, we will take it from there. Does that make sense or does it sound like a terrible idea?
 

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You are NOT a terrible dog owner. Please don't even think that way.

You are a realist that is doing the best she can taking care of a loved one while maintaining the best quality of life for Heidi that you can provide.

I made similar decisions for my old girl Maddie before I had to PTS. She also had HD and arthritis and had a long slow decline.
 

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You are not terrible at all. That is what I and most others would do at her age. The likelihood is that it is jsut a cyst anyways.. that would be my guess. My parent's 14 y/o lab/BC mix has them ALL over and in the beginning we took him in but now they just leave it.. he's too old to be going through all that.

IMO you are doing better by her doing it this way and she would appreciate that :)
 

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if the testing is not going to affect the outcome
that is if it is a bad thing and needs removed you would not remove it due to her age
then it is fine to monitor it and make a decision later if things come to that
but for now just monitor
its all good :)
 

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Bridget I agree w/ your plan exactly.
 

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me too!!! it's unanimous, lolol...good job heidi's mom!!!
 

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I also agree with your decision. My "other" dog is 13 and started getting lumpy/bumpy about 3 years ago. I did have a fibroma on her ear flap removed; I was afraid she would scratch it off, make a big mess, and the cats would try to eat it.:eek: She has one on the top of her head now - it's staying unless it starts growing very very quickly.

I expressed concern over the lumps and bumps to my vet at her last annual; she is a practical person and said she really wouldn't encourage any kind of heroics at age 13. She tells me "love her, walk her, feed her, play with her". The lumps and bumps are not changing much - our biggest problem seems to be some "doggy dementia".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds like good advice from your vet. Sometimes Heidi acts like she could have either dementia or hearing loss, but we are pretty sure she is just getting even more stubborn!

The other day, she was laying on her side, still as can be. She seemed to be barely breathing, didn't respond when I said her name. I was beginning to panic and thought she was dying. My husband said "Heidi, want a treat?" And she jumped up and ran for the kitchen!
 

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bridget if your a terrible dog owner than I am to:)

My male aussie was diagnosed in November with a tumor around his heart/cancerous, he was healthy as a horse up until that time, he was 13 years old, I opted to not go the chemo route, because frankly, the chemo would probably make it worse than it was. I medicated ALOT, unfortunately he passed away Jan 2. well I should say I put him down, difficulty breathing, stopped eating..I wasn't going to have his last months full of vet visits, tho he didn't mind, full of pokes and prodding..

I agree with what your doing
 

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I too agree,not easy for you as a GSD owner.
I went through something like that with my girl Libby.
As much as it hurt me,I did what was best for Her by letting Her go.
As many others have said here,your GSD will let you know when it's time.
Your doing the right thing by keeping Her comfortable and Stress free.
 

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Yes, I agree with your plan. I think this is the hardest part of dog ownership.
 

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Thanks. Diane, my condolescenses on the passing of your aussie. I must have missed any posts about his loss.
 

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Like everyone else, I do not think you are terrible. You are just making her last days more comfortable than they would be with needles and vet visits and possible treatments of other types. When I had to take Pyrate in I knew he was ready. The vet told me he could keep him going for a few more days if I wanted to but I told him no and I just wanted Pyrate to have some dignity when he went. Sloppy kisses and tail wags from Raina for you. Hugs from me.
 

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Good idea

Sounds like you are doing the right thing. My 14 and 7 month old GSD Shasta has always had lumps on her, just fatty tumors as far as I know. Years ago I took her to the vet and had one cut out, Shasta was traumatized and had a gaping, open wound on her for days, not worth the stress/pain to her at all. They usually open up and go away on their own. I was told that if they are not painful to the dog and just on the surface of the skin and not connected to anything than they are not much to worry about.
 

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I with the others. Cody used to get the fatty bumps too, I had the vet check them when we'd go in for other stuff and pretty much as long as not bothering him we let those go. Clipper developed a hard lump on his ribs, cancer, we did have it checked but I did not have him go thru chemo or surgery. He was a little over 12 and I would not put either thru all that at their ages. Cody was almost 12 with what they said was probable osteosarcoma in his back leg. He had stopped eating except very "high value" food and lost a lot of weight along with other problems. He was in pain. Clipper on the other hand had good appitite and didn't seem to be in a lot of pain. We opted to keep him comfortable with meds. My thoughts are with you with this part of your journey together.
 

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There's nothing wrong with that at her age. Some people like to know what it is, just so they know, some people will go all out regardless of the dog's age (we took out a liver lobe that had a tumor in an 18 year old lab mix once) and others just want their dog to enjoy their golden years. Nothing wrong with any of those things. :)

With it having been small, then disappeared and came back again slightly bigger, my money would actually be on a Mast Cell tumor because they tend to wax and wane in size depending on if something makes them upset or not. My first dog had one taken off of the back of her neck when she was about 9.5 years old. First time I found it and another lump in front of her leg I was afraid it was lymphoma. Turned out it was a lipoma and the mast cell tumor. They don't tend to cause mets if they are lower grade and deep surgical resection is the treatment generally. Some can't be removed however. Just tossing it out since that's kind of what it sounds like, but it could just be nothing anyway. :)

You always know your dog best and should always do what is best for your dog.
 
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