Sunday, September 14, 2014

1498. Is it worth operating an old female dog with breast cancer?

Sep 15, 2014

Besides the risk of death from anaesthesia, owners do weigh the medical costs of removing the breast tumours from the 14-year-old Silkie Terrier. The total costs of removing all 7 breast tumours including anaesthesia was $700 in this case.

First I advised spaying to get rid of the ovarian hormones feeding the breast tumours.  Breast tumours to be excised 4 weeks later. But many Singaporean owners don't follow up with breast tumour removal.

Nov 2, 2013   Dog could not lie down on chest.  Large breast tumours grow large during last few days.  Large swelling of left MG5, right MG 1 +2. No blood tests, chest X-ray to check for metastasis nor biopsy to check for malignancy to lower medical costs.

Nov 5, 2013. Spayed.

Jul 3, 2014.  Left MG5 swollen and painful.  Other tumours did not increase in size. I advised removal of left MG5 2 weeks later after giving anti-inflam and antibiotics.

Sep 15, 2014. Owner wanted painkillers  + injections as the left MG5 is swollen to 6cm x 6 cm x 3 cm and was very painful. The dog was active but would not permit carrying.
I advised removal after 2 weeks. But the owner felt that the dog's lifespan was ending. "You said 6 months to live," the husband told me.

"I said 6 months based on the dog not spayed and the fast-growing breast tumours." It is best not to predict the life span as there could be mis communications.  

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