Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blog the Change: See Something Do Something Cancer

I know there are a lot of issues to be addressed but today I decided to highlight Dr. Sue Ettinger's See Something Do Something: Why Wait Aspirate campaign.

Sometimes it's the littlest things that can make a big difference in your dog's life. Finding a bump and aspirating it instead of watching and waiting. Don't ever let anybody talk you into watching cancer grow. Aspirating a bump is so easy and quick, why not just do it?



Thank you so much to Tracie Hotchner, Dog Film Festival and VCA Animal Hospitals for helping me with the PSA on See Something Do Something Cancer. Join us at the 1st annual Dog Film Festival in NYC on Oct. 3rd to seem amazing films about our canine companions. (Tix are on sale now!!) #whywaitaspirate
Posted by Dr Sue Cancer Vet on Saturday, September 12, 2015


JD is just on his way home from his mast cell removal surgery.

He had two little bumps. Small enough and innocent enough looking they would have made great candidates for the watch and see approach. But I've been following Dr. Sue long enough now, we decided to aspirate them. If they were harmless, then we'd know. If they were not, then we could do something.

At first sight, they looked harmless. One looked like a lipoma and the other looked like a cyst. Even looking at the slides, after the fine needle aspirate, one looked like a lipoma and the other like a cyst.

One of them is a lipoma. One of them turned out being a mast cell tumor.

If we left it to just watch it, we'd be watching cancer grow and eventually metastasize. Does that sound like a good plan? Not at all.

This way we got it out and there is a good chance that's all that it will take and we'll never hear of it again. Very often, taking care of masses while they are small, surgery is all it takes.

JD is resting on the couch now, crying for the girls he fell in love at the hospital.


Thunderstorm! Powers out! Time to cuddle with patients!
Posted by Walden Animal Hospital on Thursday, October 15, 2015


We will still have to wait for lab results on the removed tissue and other labs. We're hoping for good news both regarding clean margins and grade.

If you find a mass on your dog, don't wait, aspirate.

Because you don't know what the bump really is unless somebody looks at the actual cells.




Related articles:
It's That Time of the Year Again: Annual Wellness Exam and JD's Bumps 
JD's Biopsy Results Revealed Mast Cell Tumor: You Don't Know What the Bump Is Unless You Look at the Cells 

51 comments

  1. Good point - my Labs get a lot of lumps, but I get each and everyone checked!

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    1. It's so worth it, isn't it? Your Labs are lucky dogs.

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    2. For some reason I can't just comment, I have to reply to another comment - but having lost 2 dogs to cancer this year, I know how you feel. best of luck!

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    3. Hi Nichole, sorry you guys are having a hard time commenting.

      Even more sorry about your loss!
      Thank you for the wishes.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for all your research. We have been so lucky through the years, but we will continue to be safe.

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    1. Our vet always says, "there is never a problem until there is one." But when there is, it is good to know there is so one can do something about it.

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  3. I couldn't agree more - it's never a good idea to wait & see with bumps - some of the worst ones grow really fast. I couldn't imagine the regret I'd have if I waited only to find out it was cancer. Good luck with the lab results from the removal - it's gotta be a very nerve wracking wait.

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    1. I'd like to hope that if a lump is growing fast that people are more likely to do something about it. But even the seemingly "dormant" ones, such as JD's need to be checked before things get out of hand.

      Yeah, gotta wait about a week to find out. Our hopes are high, though.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. I couldn't find the comment button, so I'm replying to Jenna! LOL

      Great post, we have all the dogs little lumps checked and aspirated. Like you I'd rather be safe than sorry. Glad JD is recovering and I've got fingers crossed for good margins!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Jodi.

      Glad your dogs' have been benign.

      Delete
  5. Like you, we don't wait around! Love that video showing how a simple procedure can save a whole lot of heartbreak. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way as you wait for JD's lab results. Hoping it is good news.

    Thanks for blogging the change for animals!
    Sue
    Be the Change for Animals
    Talking-dogs.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sue.

      Your dogs are very lucky. Vet says that based on her experience mast cell tumors this tiny and "young" typically come back as grade one unless left for years and years. So we're hoping she's right.

      Delete
  6. Mr. N hasn't had any lumps yet but he gets a full head to tail examination several times a week.

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    1. Great job keeping up with the examinations! Jasmine only had couple skin tags and some infections. JD hasn't had any bumps until these two cropped up.

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  7. Very important! And I love Dr. Ettinger's work!

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    Replies
    1. Isn't she awesome? She totally changed my way of thinking about cancer in dogs.

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  8. Im so glad you got the lumps checked out. My Keira gets lots of lumps too and I get them aspirated. It's best to be safe than sorry. I sure hope you caught it in plenty of time!!!!

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    1. I think we did well in regards to time. Now we're hoping we did good with margins and grade too. That we have to wait to find out.

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  9. Glad you caught the cancer early. I hope the treatments go well for you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Hopefully he might not need any more treatments other than the surgery. Depends on margins and grade with we have to wait to find out about.

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  10. I recently wrote a post about a bump on BEntley's back. I had four vets tell me that it was a fatty tumor and to leave it alone. Finally, one vet agreed to aspirate it. Thankfully, it was only a hair follicle and he is fine. I am glad that I kept nagging them about it until something was done. I didn't see them do the actual aspiration so I was happy to watch the video.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wow, four vets would not aspirate it? Why not? It's quick and easy. I understand that apparently lipomas are rather squishy compared to hardness of other tumors but it's still just a guess. And clearly, a wrong and they could have just as well been wrong "the other way." Wow.

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    2. I felt the same way. Each one told me it was just a fatty tumor and nothing to worry about, but I disagreed. It kept getting bigger and I was very worried. Thankfully, it was okay.

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  11. I am glad that you got that test done early! That would be really scary. I pay very close attention to anything that seems unusual with my kitties. Luckily, we have never had any suspicious bumps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bruin had a massive lipoma but it never got discovered until it "shifted." He already came with such weird-looking chest to me but both hubby and vet insisted that was just his chest.

      Then, one day it dislodged and shifted to a side and it was like OMG he's got this huge tumor.

      It WAS just a lipoma, though, even though so huge (size of a baseball)

      Delete
  12. Wow, great to know! My old dog had a few bumps on his torso as he got older, and not longer after died of a brain tumor. I wonder if aspirating the first ones could have helped any. :/

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    1. Sometimes there can be a lot of bumps and each of them something else. I don't think there is a way of telling whether there was a correlation. I'd lean toward thinking it probably wasn't because brain is quite well separated from the rest by the blood-brain barrier. Brain tumors seem to be an animal on their own.

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  13. It's so important to check out any lumps! Great post and message. :)

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  14. How scary. Thank goodness you caught the lumps early and aspirated. I don't think I would have known the dangers. Kilo has a few tiny puggy moles, I'll get the vet to check next visit. Sending positive thoughts. Thanks for sharing. Susie

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susie.

      This is part of Jasmine's legacy. She got me to learn everything I can about dog health issues. So I'm learning.

      Delete
  15. Thank you for sharing this important information. I wouldn't have necessarily thought to ask my vet to aspirate a suspicious bump if we ever come across one. Looks like JD got a lot of TLC at the vet's!

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    1. Glad this is useful to you! And now you know to ask. It might save your dog's life some day.

      Yes, JD got a lot of TLC at the vet's :-)

      Delete
  16. We love this advice and what a great way to remember! Taffy has a bump that the Lady needs to have aspirated too so we'll be sure and not wait on that. But on the other hand, the vet found one on Rhette's side, surgery was scheduled to have it removed and just before they started to operate the cyst was gone! Love Dolly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, not all bumps are cancerous, and some of them can resolve on their own, or, if infectious, with antibiotics. Bumps that go away on their own are the best :-)

      Delete
  17. Excellent awareness post and great advice. I had a lump on the shoulder of one of my Huskies aspirated and thankfully, it's just a fatty tumor. I just found one on each of my other two Huskies that I will have to go get aspirated as well. Thanks for a great and motivating post.

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    1. It's always better safe than sorry, particularly with bumps. If it's a fatty tumor you can celebrate. If it's not, you can do something.

      Delete
  18. Good post with important information - something all pet parents should be aware of.

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    Replies
    1. All pet parents and as it seem, all veterinarians too.

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  19. Such an important article - sharing on social media via WPAF but also to our Aussie friends at CanineCancer etc. Thanks, Annette

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Annette. I hope more people learn this and can take measures while it's still easy to cure.

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  20. Great reminder and video! Hope all is well with JD...paws crossed. Thanks =)

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  21. He's doing ok, the graft is hanging in there though looking gnarly; vet saw it today and says it's not too bad. So main thing is the lab report on margins and grade.

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  22. Same thing happened with my previous Persian, Sweet Praline. She had a small bump that appeared beside her nose. The vet thought it was nothing, but she sent a sample off and it was cancerous. The surgery wa simple, but it could have been a lot worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, with bumps it doesn't matter what anybody thinks, it only matters what the biopsy shows.

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  23. Hey Jana. Thinking of JD and hope all is well. Ace has a fatty lump on his side that three vets have told me is nothing to worry about so I've never done anything. But on Friday we saw a different vet. He also recommended nothing but he was the first to bring up aspirating it just to be 100 percent certain. I chose not to spend the money because of all the certainty from multiple vets.

    I'm surprised so many have said their vets would NOT aspirate a lump. Seems like this should always be an option and always mentioned and discussed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lindsay,

      thank you for checking in on JD. We actually got the pathology report few hours ago (I posted an update on the blog a few minutes ago). Best case scenario - got it all and it's grade 1.

      You can NEVER be certain what a lump is without a biopsy. NEVER. No matter what it looks like, no matter what it feels like. There might be hypothesis on what it might be but looking and feeling is never conclusive.

      It is always best to do the aspirate and be certain. Because not even an oncologist can identify a bump without that.

      The other thing is that even a lipoma can be hiding cancer inside it. Ever since I've been following Dr. Sue I would never leave any bump not aspirated.

      Delete
  24. I hope all continues to go well, thanks for such an informative post!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    ReplyDelete
  25. Such an important subject - thank you for this easy to understand overview on why we shouldn't ignore any lumps or bumps. We all know of too many furry friends lost to cancer just in recent months.

    I'm so very glad JD is doing well!

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals,
    Kim Thomas
    Be the Change for Animals

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kim. JD is doing well, wound almost closed up and healed.

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