Hello all! I have been meaning to post here for a while, but never quite got around to it. This forum has helped me so much with getting my dog the nutrition she needs as I was flying blind before. Now, I am hoping to talk to some experienced dog owners regarding my dog Izzie’s lump.
Let me preface this by saying that I plan to take her to the vet first thing tomorrow morning, but I have severe anxiety over daily things, and having my baby sick is causing me to be a complete basket case.
While petting her, I noticed a golf ball sized lump on her right shoulder blade, at the top, just next to her spinal cord. This lump is hard, but it moves when her skin moves. It is the same color as her skin and there is no hair loss. When I press it, move it, or pet her there she is not bothered except for the fact that I am preventing her from playing with her ducky.
Earlier this year, I found myself in the same type of scenario when she had a small, pea sized lump on her leg. That time it was squishy but still moved with her skin. Our vet diagnosed this as a fatty cyst and said she would likely get more and not to freak out, but just have them checked at our regularly scheduled vet visits. The reason this concerns me is its size and the fact that it is hard.
She is a fairly healthy girl who is a bit chubby (4 pounds overweight). She is a full grown, almost 7 year old Australian Shepherd and perhaps the greatest friend I’ve ever known. Forgive me if there are typo’s as I am typing this through crocodile tears.
I took her to the vet on 7/14 to get her regularly scheduled shots which include:
DHPP+L Booster (unsure what this is exactly)
ProHeart Heartworm Preventative
All of these are shots that she’s had before and never had a reaction to. We will be taking a 14 hour road trip in October to go visit my sister in Florida, so we decided to get her micro chipped that day also.
I know that I probably need to wait for the vet, but I just need another dog owner to talk to me and not just tell me what I want to hear like my beloved friends and family are doing. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
I just want you to know I have my fingers crossed that it is just another fatty cyst. I totally understand your anxiety. Best of luck tomorrow. 🙂
I just read your post – I’m so sorry, I know it is anxiety producing to find a lump on your dog!! Here’s what I know, hopefully it will make you feel better until you can get to the vet…I’ve had Golden Retrievers in the past who developed fatty tumors (lipomas) as they got older. That was back in the days before I was feeding homemade & raw. The vet would always say that its nothing to worry about, it was common for the breed and as long as it didn’t bother the dog leave it alone. Back then, that’s what I did – and I can honestly say that those dogs lived long happy lives & for the most part I don’t think the lipomas ever really bothered them and certainly didn’t interfere with their quality of life. Then about 4 years ago, I had 2 Golden Retriever puppies – and 1 of them developed a lump that was BIG. And he was young. My initial thought was, “well, he’s a Golden & they are prone to these things”. But it just felt really wrong to me in such a young dog – and sure enough, when the vet did a needle biopsy on him, the result was different, this time it was not fatty, but was blood filled – called a sarcoma. Turns out this dog had a really weak immune system, and the lump was right at the injection site where he had his latest vaccines. The good news is, we caught it early and it alerted me to a bigger issue – his immune system. That’s when I changed diet, vaccines, etc. When you go to the vet, you’ll know more – it may be just another fatty bump, but the location seems to indicate that maybe its related to the vaccine or the chip implant. His body may be responding to the foreign “stuff” that was injected, and the bump may resolve as his body recovers and assimilates it. But if it’s a reaction, that’s something to pay attention to – most dogs don’t get a reaction, so you may want to look into why yours did this time. Maybe it’s a fluke, or maybe there are ingredients in the vaccine that your dog doesn’t tolerate well. That was the case for my dog. But there’re some things that I’ve discovered along the way – first, not all dogs can tolerate the “one size fits all” vaccine protocol. And there are alternatives, such as titer testing, following a “minimal” protocol, and using only thimerosal-free vaccines when you do have to vaccine. I’ve had many friends tell me their vets “don’t do” titer testing or thimerosal-free… but there are labs that you can use, where you get the lab order from them, have your vet do the blood draw & have your vet send the blood to them for titer testing. It’s no different from what your vet already does – they are just shipping to your lab of choice instead of to their usual lab. Same thing with the vaccine – you order it and have it sent to your vet in advance. The other thing is, the reaction my dog had gave me a “heads-up” to have his immune system checked. There’s a great organization called Hemopet (www.hemopet.org) that did a comprehensive immune system analysis on my dog & the director, Dr. Jean Dodds did a personal review for no additional cost – she sent me a report that explained the results in great detail and provided me with a list of supplements to correct his immune deficiency. She talked with me by phone & email over the next couple months while I got my dog stabilized at no additional cost. It completely changed my dogs health and was money well spent!. As an aside, the immune testing order form doesn’t come up on their website so you’ll have to call or email and ask them how to order it. Again, your vet draws the blood and sends it to their lab or to Cornell University…I forget which, but the order form has the shipping instructions on it.
Bottom line – the fact that you caught it so early means you can deal with it and get to them bottom of it. Taking charge over it will go a long way toward alleviating the stress and anxiety you are feeling right now. I promise!
Best to you & your pup!
Thank you all for your kind responses! It really helped me last night. I still didn’t get much sleep and woke up at 6:45 this morning to get her ready to take her to the vet, which turned out to be quite the ordeal, which I feel compelled to detail here as I learned a very valuable lesson today.
I usually take Izzie to a place called Three Trails where she has seen by the same doctor since she was a baby (she’ll always be MY baby). I called one of my good friends crying hysterically and she told me Izzie’s normal doctor wouldn’t be in as he is off on Thursdays (she takes her pups to the vet a LOT). She recommended that I take her to another place, we’ll just call it IAH for short, since they opened at 8 and I had to work today. We (my mom, Izzie, and I) ended up getting there shortly past 8 this morning and this place did not smell good. Not like dog, not like cat, just yuck. We sit in the waiting room and there is this beautiful, sweet, goofy big dog and she just feels compelled to talk…and talk…and talk. It wasn’t bothering us or anyone else. Dog’s bark. It’s what they do. A nurse came out and asked who was barking and said let’s just get this done and took her back immediately. I don’t know if she was annoyed or what, but that should have been my first clue. We get back into the room where the doctor doesn’t even pet her, doesn’t really ask questions or anything. I am in tears because I think that my baby has cancer. He then proceeds to tell me that all lumps have cancer in them. That doesn’t ring true, but it also scares me half to death. He sticks a huge needle in there twice (doesn’t look at anything under the microscope) and says it’s not bleeding and there is no hair in it, so it’s good. I mentioned the microchip and he said that wasn’t where they insert them. I asked what it could be and he gave a lot of random answers and recommended we cut it out. He said we could do it today or we could wait a bit, that it wasn’t urgent. My mom looked at me and said we’ll wait. I was a frazzled mess and so completely miffed that I left the vet with more questions that I had when I went in. We get to the car and my mom looks at me and says that there was no way in hell she was leaving our girl with him. We were so unbelievably upset that people actually send their kids to this guy, not to mention that our friend had recommended him. I decided to try to go to Three Trails and see if they had a walk in appointment available.
We get there and they didn’t have a walk in appointment available but after explaining to them what we had just gone through, they agreed to squeeze us in. We only waited about 45 minutes and then got back into the room. The nurse, whom Izzie generally loves, tried to stick the thermometer up her butt and Iz was none too pleased because she had just been poked on. The nurse was super understanding and tabled that for a bit. Dr. A comes in and we start explaining and she seemed a bit perplexed at the idea that I had just come from a vet and was now coming to see her. She seems to start to understand the issue after we explain more about what happened. The first thing she did was get to know Iz and then scan her microchip. Guess where the microchip was? In the middle of that lump. It had moved from the initial injection. She scanned it twice, which is two more times than the previous vet did. She starts to explain what she thinks it is and also adds that she had a lot of injections at her last appointment and it looked like an injection sight reaction. She said reactions to microchips are rare, but they do happen. She eased my fears as I was crying asking about cancer (google is a dangerous beast when you’re afraid). She explained every thing in detail, told us what we were going to do to get her better and laid out the next steps should it not work. We left with Benadryl, Prednisone, Pill Pockets and most importantly, peace of mind. I only spent 40.00 which I thought was a bargain considering I had just went to a “vet” who charged me 20.00 for nothing.
I keep getting told that Three Trails is more expensive. And you know what? Maybe they are. But isn’t it worth it to know that my baby is okay and have her be comfortable? And I don’t find them to be that much more expensive than any other place. She’s happier there, they re friendlier and they know her. I didn’t even have to tell Dr. A about the microchip. She just looked at her records and knew. The biggest lesson I learned today is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. She’s been going to Three Trails for all of her life, and as long as I can help it, will go there for many years to come.
Sorry you went through that. Vet care is one place I don’t bargain shop.
Sorry about your bad experience with that Vet. $40 and $20 are very cheap tho. I pay $50 just to walk in the door, and that doesn’t include anything. That’s just what they charge for an office call.
Same here. Office call is broken down into recheck, healthy pet exams, sick pet and emergency. I think the emergency one is like $60. The actual ER Clinic is $98. Honestly if its the chip causing the problem I would have it removed.
It wasn’t even about the money for me, so much as being recommended by a friend because our normal vet was out. I have just heard over and over again that my vet is soooo expensive, and I have learned that I simply don’t care. I am always happy when I go to pay because it never seems like a lot of money. I am just irritated that a friend would even recommend this vet in the first place. I don’t think that 43.00 is much at all and seeing what others spend, it’s very reasonable. Last week I spent 149.00 on shots, motion sickness meds, micro-chip and nail trim and I thought I’d made out like a bandit. We celebrated by going and buying Izzie all new toys for vacation, lol.
Lol. You did make out like a bandit! Here that would gave been in the $350 range if not more.
This is why I love the Midwest. Except for today when it’s going to be like a million degrees. But everything is fairly reasonable here. I just learned my lesson that Izzie is comfortable at her normal vets office, even if her normal vet isn’t there. It’s so worth taking the entire day off work to keep her healthy. She had only ever seen Dr. A when she was still a puppy and got off her leash and ran around the office like a fool. She was so nice and understanding and Izzie gave her two high fives.
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