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  • Suspicious lump?

    I have found a small lump on my 11 y/o spayed Westie. It is in the area that if she had ovaries, that is where the lump would be. It is just above her vulva area on one side of the lower tummy. It does not seem painful to her when I press on it and it is approx the size of a large lima bean and is very firm. I have a call into my vet to make an appt, but she is on vacation till next week. Anyone have any ideas? She seems perfectly healthy- eating, peeing, pooping and playing and had a senior blood profile done last Spring and all was normal. At her age, lumps worry me... she's my baby girl..

  • #2
    I would get her checked ASAP. Firm lumps can be bad. At what age was she spayed? If she went through any heat cycles before being spayed, it could still be mammary cancer. The more cycles she went through, the higher the chances. Also if you are going to wait until your vet gets back from vacation, watch the lump for growth, so you can note it to your vet. Let us know and I will say a prayer that it is benign.
    Lisa VanVleet, RVT

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    • #3
      Originally posted by borzoimom View Post
      I would get her checked ASAP. Firm lumps can be bad. At what age was she spayed? If she went through any heat cycles before being spayed, it could still be mammary cancer. The more cycles she went through, the higher the chances. Also if you are going to wait until your vet gets back from vacation, watch the lump for growth, so you can note it to your vet. Let us know and I will say a prayer that it is benign.
      No heat cycles, she was spayed at 6 mos old. I am wondering if I want to take her into another vets office that I know pretty well instead of waiting till next week.... do they do an x-ray/ultra sound, to find out what it is? Or do they biopsy lumps? This is our first time with this situation & I dont know what to expect....

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      • #4
        Best way to watch a lump for growth is to take a sharpie marker and draw the edges of it. Typically if the lump grows, it's easy to tell since the sharpie mark is on the skin.

        Definitely get her seen as soon as you can. Though, I personally would wait for my vet to get back.

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        • #5
          Yes, off to the vet she goes. My Holly had a mammary tumor last year. She was 10, and had had a litter and wasn't spayed til age 7. Even the vet felt as I did, that it was malignant. It was removed and sent to the lab, and it was not! Boy, did I say a big prayer of thanks. Your vet will have a pretty good idea when he examines her, but he may want to remove it if he thinks it's suspicious. Hope all goes well for you.
          Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

          Groom on!!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by puppy love View Post
            I have found a small lump on my 11 y/o spayed Westie. It is just above her vulva area on one side of the lower tummy. It does not seem painful to her when I press on it and it is approx the size of a large lima bean and is very firm. ..
            It could be something major, or it could be a simple Hernia. That area is prone to herniation and YES they can be firm, or they can be soft and squishy. Get her to a vet though. A firm Hernia is as dangerous as a lump could be. A part of intestine stuck in the hole can abcess.
            <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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            • #7
              Originally posted by puppy love View Post
              No heat cycles, she was spayed at 6 mos old. I am wondering if I want to take her into another vets office that I know pretty well instead of waiting till next week.... do they do an x-ray/ultra sound, to find out what it is? Or do they biopsy lumps? This is our first time with this situation & I dont know what to expect....
              The first thing they'll do is a manual palpation. Sometimes that's all that's needed, as some tumors are pretty easily diagnosed just from the way they feel and the location. And keep in mind that what we sometimes call firm a vet will call soft.

              The next step is to get a sample to look at under the microscope. Depending on the situation this will probably be done by fine needle aspiration; the vet will stick a needle in it and attempt to draw out some cells/fluid. Then they stain it and look at it. If that is inconclusive, or if they can't get any cells in the needle, they'll want to remove the lump and send a sample to a lab for identification.

              X-rays and ultra sound may be used to determine if there are other tumors anywhere else...if it is determined that the lump is malignant. If it's a cyst or lipoma, this isn't necessary.

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the feedback. I had not even thought about a hernia... I have an appt for her to be seen tomorrow afternoon. Her regular vet is out of town till next week and I really am not comfortable waiting till then. Plus after being off for 10 days, she may be booked up when she gets back. I know the other vet pretty well and she has treated my pets in the past. I just need to know what we are dealing with. Y'all send us good thoughts and positive energy that it is something very minor and simple to deal with. Will let you know what we find out.

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                • #9
                  Well, the news is not good. The needle biopsy shows breast cancer. We are having surgery done on Friday AM to remove the mass and send it off. Then it will be about a week before we get the final results. The good news is that an x-ray shows that her lungs are clear so the cancer has not spread to her lungs, so we are hoping that we can remove the lump and get a clean border around it. Hoping for the best but struggling with this news. The vet said that only approx 1% of females spayed before first heat get breast cancer....unfortunately we are in that 1%.... Need prayers and positive energy sent to me and my baby girl, Ally for Friday's surgery.

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                  • #10
                    Westie

                    I am deeply sorry for your news. I will be thinking of you and I sincerley hope all goes well with you and your baby. As you may know I just lost my lab last saturday at 13years old, she had heart disease and cancer, so I definitely know how you feel.
                    Please take care Lee

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                    • #11
                      Surgery Update

                      Ally had her surgery this AM and is recovering well. While removing the original tumor, the vet found 2 other tumors and removed them as well. We will know more next week when the biopsy results come back. Since there were 2 other small tumors already started, it makes my vet suspicious that the tumor is malignant but we are waiting on the test results to cross that bridge. Please continue to send prayers and positive energy for my little girl, Ally and I will let you know what we find out next week.

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                      • #12
                        Prayers for you both.
                        Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                        Groom on!!!

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                        • #13
                          So sorry! I will be prayin!
                          Mandy, Birdie, Evie, Willie and The Woo
                          Check out my Blog at doggydivasdish.com

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