19th Sep 2010
"I will not be able to take it if my dog dies under anaesthesia," the lady had made an appointment to see me on this fine Sunday morning. Her Shih Tzu was 11 years old and her vet had told her that there should be no more yearly dental scaling for the past years.
A small globular under the skin behind the temporo-mandibular joint had now grown to 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm. "Why didn't your vet remove the tumour when it was small and when the dog was younger?" I asked.
"My vet advised me to wait and see," she said.
"There are slow-growing cancerous tumours," I said. "It is important that they be removed when they are small."
What the lady wanted was:
1. Dental work to remove the tartar and loose teeth causing bad breath without the dog dying under general anaesthesia. I auscultated the dog's heart. "Around 60% chances of survival," I estimated. "A blood test will be useful to assess the blood, kidney and urinary systems."
"My vet had taken the dog's blood some 8 months ago and said there was nothing wrong," she said.
"Do you have the blood test report?" I asked.