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Discussion Starter #1
If there is already a thread on here with info on this, please tell me and I'll go back and reference it. But I would like some information from anyone who has had a dog with mammary cancer and suggestions on the best type of tx.

My 9 y.o (10 in Oct) female shepherd just had a mammary tumor removed which turned out to be cancererous. It was about an inch an and a half in diameter. The vet only sent her home and said to
"watch her" for any more growths that may appear. No additional form of tx was offered.

What can I expect?? I have researched some on malignant mammary tumors and it's sounds like it's sort of "iffy" that it may or may not spread... I just don't know what the odds are that it will metastisize elsewhere. I know the tumor was on the larger size when it was removed. I love my dog and if I can have her with me at least another 2 to 4 yrs without putting her through further surgeries and discomfort I'd just as soon do that. If there's a more successful tx/surgery recommended to keep the cancer from coming back please tell me what is recommended.
 

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I don't have advise but I just wanted to offer my support and concern. I'm so very sorry you are going thru this. Please give your girl a hug from us and I'm sending some your way as well.
Please keep us posted.
 

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Good morning FORRUGER:

My brother-in-law's intact Yorkie mix just had the same thing done. My vet, who did the surgery (spayed her at the same time), explained that there are three different types of mammary cancer and that, in his experience, most of the ones that he sees and removes are the non-aggressive type. He prescribed no therapy for my BIL's dog either other than to keep an eye on her teats. Did your vet tell you what the pathological diagnosis/tissue type was?

Shannon
 

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Also-did they do chest x-rays just to make sure that the lungs are all clear?

Hopefully you can get that additional information that will help you to figure out more of what you should do.

I would look at putting her on a grain free diet. Also, there is a thread started by TMarie about Jake that has good cancer supplement information and I believe there are cancer sticky posts.

The Magic Bullet Fund has some good links on their site as well.

I fear this with my female rescue who was spayed at age 7 and who also doesn't show her belly/like lump checks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
HI Shannon! I am waiting a call back from the vets to ask more questions... waiting room was full so he couldn't talk to me when I called. How old is your brother in law's yorkie?

My dog, Chevelle lives most of the time with my good friend Mike who loves her to death too. He took the initial report from the vet on the pathology report and he's not much on understanding medical issues and as he also said he was just wanting to hear the word "benign"..which wasn't the case. I'm sure he would have understood if they told him it was an aggressive cancer, and they didnt' say that. Just to watch her for more growths.

Mike lost both of his last GSDs at nine years of age (one cancer, one stroke) so I know how upsetting it is for him to be thinking that Chevelle may not make it to be a really old lady dog!! We both love her dearly and want to do what's best for her!

If I know there's a good probablility the cancer won't metastisize, or at least for a few years we'd feel a whole lot better about not doing anything at this point. There's no way of knowing that I know, but just wondered what other people's experience has been with this type of cancer.
 

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my friends boxer went through the same thing and came out just fine. The next day after having it removed she was back to her old self. will be praying for you
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAANAlso-did they do chest x-rays just to make sure that the lungs are all clear?

Hopefully you can get that additional information that will help you to figure out more of what you should do.

I would look at putting her on a grain free diet. Also, there is a thread started by TMarie about Jake that has good cancer supplement information and I believe there are cancer sticky posts.

The Magic Bullet Fund has some good links on their site as well.

I fear this with my female rescue who was spayed at age 7 and who also doesn't show her belly/like lump checks.

Thanks for referencing this other information for me to check out. She seems to be her usual healthy self.. but I'll ask more questions to the vet when I get a chance to talk with him, esp about the chest xray. I wish we had discovered the lump much earlier when it was just pea size and odds would be better that it hadn't metastisized. I want to kick myself now for not getting her spayed at an earlier age... She was shown her for a while in breed and that was why I didn't get her spayed early on, And thank you 'shilohsmom' for your support!
 

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You can't do it if you can't do it!

And I think lumps are hard to find particularly ones in the belly area unless you have a dog that lets it all hang out. But even then-they can pop up so quickly. And if the hair doesn't come out around it-well...with the fur on these dogs...

Yeah-I am trying to think of things I have heard on IMOM-chest x-rays, margins, and then the pathology report is usually pretty detailed. When you get a copy of that you'll be able to get a better idea, I think.
 

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She's spayed now though right? That can help. My understanding is that mammary tumors aren't very responsive to some of the other therapies now being done for other cancers (eg radiation, chemo etc). If she was my dog, I'd ask them about radical mastectomies on both sides and would probably want to talk to a vet school or oncology specialists about treatment options, just for a second opinion. However, my guess would be that the answer you get will be the same - no treatment, keep a close eye on it. I lost my childhood dog to mammary cancer when she was 10. She got her first tumor at age 7 or 8, that was removed and she did okay for a while before they came back. Still, I wish we'd had her longer. My dad didn't believe in spaying. He does now.

But since then I've had quite a few foster dogs with mammary tumors and actually all have done pretty well. We get them removed, we sometimes remove the entire mammary chain, and we instruct the new owners to be very vigilant. So far so good on all of them.

Hang in there!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you pupresq... that's helpful to know about other dogs with the same problem who have had good outcomes. I had read that also that this type of cancer doesn't respond well to chemo and it wasn't recommended. I only looked at one site so didn't know if that was the general opinion or just one person's view. Yes, she' s spayed now... I think she was 6 y.o when I had it done. To go 3 or 4 years without a reoccurence of a tumor would be a blessing! We're definately going to be keeping a close watch on her belly!
 

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Pat:

My BIL's Yorkie had an irregular small teat mass removed along with one regional lymph node and had the spay done at the same time. She is doing well and is being watched for any other signs or symptoms.

In years past, my friends have had dogs with mammary cancer and it has been treated different ways. Some just did the mass and lymph node excisions done and some did entire mammary chain excisions performed. I think that it depends upon the individual case specifics and the veterinarian's recommendations.

A chest x-ray is also a very good idea in terms of looking for metastatic sites.

Shannon
 

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Forrugger: I am sorry to hear about your girl with mammary cancer. We recently lost our GSD to mammary cancer and it is my sincere hope that yours will be just fine.

Our Lilly (GSD) had an aggressive tumor that moved into her lymph glands. Tumors (2) were removed, and it was recommended that she receive chemotherapy. It was crazy expensive (IIRC, about $400-500 for each round, at least 6 rounds which we did not have). So our only other option was an oral drug, and that was not too hopeful. The chemo would have bought her 6 months max.

The cancer spread to her lungs, and the prognosis was grim. We could see that she was not herself. So she would not suffer at all, we opted to send her to Rainbow Bridge. She was gone 6 months after the discovery of the tumor.

Lilly was a rescue dog. She was probably 8ish when she died. We had her for 1-1/2 years. She was spayed by the rescue organization, and she showed signs that she was used as a puppy mill in her former life. Spaying after the 2nd heat cycle increased the chance for mammary cancer by 18%. After the 3rd heat cycle, the chances increase by 32%.

Watch your girls carefully.
 
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