As proactive as we are with our beloved canine companions there is the chance that they could develop different types of tumors or cancers even with the best preventive care. Our St. Louis vets discuss tumor removal surgery in dogs and what to expect after surgery and through recovery.
Tumors in Dogs
When a tumor occurs it is caused by an abnormal growth of cells that create the subsequent lump that you may see.
While there is a chance that these growths or tumors may be benign or harmless, there is still a chance that they could be malignant and potentially life-threatening. Because of this wide range and the risk involved it is recommended to have your dog examined as soon as possible if you notice any lump or abnormality.
Tumor Removal Surgery in Dogs
If you bring your dog to their vet in St. Louis for a potential tumor they will most likely begin by taking a cell sample from the growth and sending it for analysis.
If it is determined that your dog is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer then the vet will utilize various tools and exams such as checking the lymph nodes and performing X-rays or other scans in order to help stage the cancer to give a better idea of what steps to take for treatment.
Once surgery has been determined as the best course of action, the vet will perform pre-surgery blood work as well as administer anesthesia to help relieve any potential pain and keep your dog still.
The vet surgeon will sterilize and prep the treatment area, make an incision to remove the tumor then suture the wound once the procedure is complete.
Your vet surgeon may send the tumor off to a lab in the St. Louis area in order to confirm the type of cancer and that proper treatment measures were taken.
Success Rate For Dog Tumor Removal Surgery
If your dog's tumor was small and benign then there is very little chance that the surgery would not fully cure them although it is still likely that the vet would send the mass away for analysis.
For larger tumors, there is less of a chance that the tumor can be cured with surgery but the tumor removal surgery would provide additional time for your dog to live and be treated while also increasing their overall quality of life.
When it comes to tumor removal surgery in dogs, the overall success rate will depend on a variety of factors such as:
- The type of tumor affecting your dog
- How early the tumor was caught
- The location of the tumor within your dog's body
- Whether your dog requires a large amount of additional tissue removal
- What technique the veterinary surgeon will utilize to remove the tumor
Recovery After Tumor Removal Surgery in Dogs
As with any surgical procedure, there will be a period of recovery after the procedure has been completed.
In the case of standard tumor removal surgery, this recovery period is an average of 10 - 14 days.
While your dog is recovering from surgery you will need to ensure that they refrain from licking the wound which can usually be accomplished with the help of an Elizabethan collar (E-collar). Other ways you can help ensure that your dog heals well after the tumor removal surgery is by keeping their physical activity to a minimum and bringing them in for subsequent vet checkups and diagnostics.
Considerations With Dog Tumor Removal Surgery
When your dog will be undergoing any type of potential surgery you will always need to weigh the risks against the benefits.
Typically surgery can be moderately painful for your dog to experience and healing can be tricky unless your dog is in peak physical condition. If your dog is in poor health or the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, especially if it affects vital organs, then there is a chance that your dog may not be healed even with surgery.
These are all things that you should consider before agreeing to tumor removal surgery for your dog. Our St. Louis vets will be able to help you decide what the best course of action is for your dog's unique situation.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.