This Saturday, May 5, 2012, I worked as Dr Jason Teo is off in Batam. Dr Vanessa covers him.
Papillon with big testicular cancer (more than 10 cm). Not eating 2 days.
"Yesterday, Dr Daniel gave an injection. I noted some improvement. My dog ate the chicken later. I gave another piece. He ate all overnight."
"Dr Daniel is not working today," I said.
"You have seen my Papillon before," she replied. "What is the cost as I can't afford $3K to $4K for the surgery. My niece's Jack Russell went for an operation at a vet and was charged $3k to $4K."
"Where did she go?" I asked. She mentioned a name of an old practice.
"Each practice charges differently. If she preferred a brand-name like being treated at Mount Elizabeth Hospital as a patient, she would have to pay top dollars. Your dog's operation to remove testicular tumour is probably around $300 - $400. Don't take the blood test as suggested by Dr Daniel to assess the risk of anaesthesia, to save some money. In any case, you have to decide to take the high anaesthestic risk of the dog dying on the op table as you don't have a choice of whether to operate or not. If the dog survives the anaesthesia, he can live a normal pain-free life, provided the cancer has not spread to the lungs and elsewhere."
"I am very close to my dog," she said. "I don't know what to do."
"Now the dog eats as the bacteria inside the tumour cells is gone and the dog feels better," I said. "But the pain and infecton will come back as the cancer cells are rotting."
So, the lady decided to wait one more day as I could operate on Sunday morning tomorrow. I have 2 spays lined up tomorrow Sunday.
P.S Neutering the male dog early would have removed all worries and frustrations of testicular cancer in an old age. Blood test for health screening is good but in this case, the dog has to be operated to remove the disease cancerous cells. It should be a simple short operation but the risks are still there. The shorter the anaesthesia, the lesser the risk. But the vet must know what to do.
In this case, no other way to help this dog but removal of the enlarged testicular tumours. So blood test results indicating poor health is not going to be useful.