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Feedback on Liver tumor
12-01-2016, 02:51 PM,
#1
Feedback on Liver tumor
I would appreciate any feedback on the diagnosis we received for our 12 year old miniature dachshund. She was a puppy mill rescue and came with a host of skin related issues. On Sunday, she was obviously not feeling well, vomiting and extremely uncomfortable. When her breathing became labored, we took her to the after hours clinic, where she was diagnosed with pancreatitis. Long story short, 2 days later, we find out she has a "massive" liver tumor. The doctor says surgery is the only treatment option with referral to a specialist in Memphis.  Does anyone have experiences they can share regarding such a significant procedure.
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12-01-2016, 06:31 PM,
#2
RE: Feedback on Liver tumor
No direct experience. My 2 cancer dogs never had huge internal tumors to deal with. Although I might be exploring geriatric surgery soon, for my other 13 yr old to remove a large lipoma , external to the body cavity.

The initial issue will be the risks of surgery to a geriatric dog. Risks also include liver bleeding during surgery, or the inability to remove most of the tumor. Worst case they find other organs involved when they start the surgery. Presumably an ultra sound didn't show anything other than the liver involved(?).

Something to discuss with the Vet specialist is whether preliminary Chemo could be used to shrink the tumor? So as to make the surgery more successful. That would require a biopsy. Preliminary chemo could also carry risks, due to tumor lysis syndrome. Might be totally inappropriate due to the tumor size. Again, something to discuss with the Vet.

Hopefully they can tell you the tumor although large is localized to one lobe of the liver, and most can be removed. Identify the type of cancer, and start treatment with Chemo, a couple of weeks after surgery. The surgery, and recovery will be the worst part for the dog. If your dog gets past that, the follow up Chemo will be easy in comparison.
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12-01-2016, 06:56 PM,
#3
RE: Feedback on Liver tumor
(12-01-2016, 06:31 PM)dragondawg Wrote: No direct experience.   My 2 cancer dogs never had huge internal tumors to deal with.  Although I might be exploring geriatric surgery soon, for my other 13 yr old to remove a large lipoma , external to the body cavity.  

The initial issue will be the risks of surgery to a geriatric dog.  Risks also include liver bleeding during surgery, or the inability to remove most of the tumor. Worst case they find other organs involved when they start the surgery.  Presumably an ultra sound didn't show anything other than the liver involved(?).

Something to discuss with the Vet specialist is whether preliminary Chemo could be used to shrink the tumor?  So as to make the surgery more successful.  That would require a biopsy.  Preliminary chemo could also carry risks,  due to tumor lysis syndrome. Might be totally inappropriate due to the tumor size.  Again, something to discuss with the Vet.  

Hopefully they can tell you the tumor although large is localized to one lobe of the liver, and most can be removed.  Identify the type of cancer, and start treatment with Chemo,  a couple of weeks after surgery.  The surgery, and recovery will be the worst part for the dog.  If your dog gets past that, the follow up Chemo will be easy in comparison.
Reply
12-02-2016, 01:19 PM,
#4
RE: Feedback on Liver tumor
(12-01-2016, 02:51 PM)dmarshall Wrote: I would appreciate any feedback on the diagnosis we received for our 12 year old miniature dachshund. She was a puppy mill rescue and came with a host of skin related issues. On Sunday, she was obviously not feeling well, vomiting and extremely uncomfortable. When her breathing became labored, we took her to the after hours clinic, where she was diagnosed with pancreatitis. Long story short, 2 days later, we find out she has a "massive" liver tumor. The doctor says surgery is the only treatment option with referral to a specialist in Memphis.  Does anyone have experiences they can share regarding such a significant procedure.

Sorry to hear about the finding.  Where any chest x-rays are taken? This would be important to check whether the tumor spread to the lungs - especially since you mentioned labored breathing. Perhaps you can ask your vet about the option of having an ultrasound guided aspirate or biopsy done? It might be in an area that this can be done. This might give you perhaps a better insight about  prognosis and whether a surgery would be worth it. I know that there are also benign tumors of liver such as hepatomas which offer a better prognosis than carcinoma, but not sure about percentage of chances of being benign or malignant, but with a biopsy it would be helpful to know what type of cancer it is as a starting point as to also know what kind of chemo drugs you can consider if it's feasible to go that route. Some vets also offer a minimally invasive biopsy option done with a laparoscope. Ideally, would be best though to consult with a veterinary oncologist to have an idea of the best options.. 

Also discuss with your vet about diet. When the liver enlarges due to cancer, it tends to press against the stomach, giving the dog a sense of fullness and loss of appetite which can be helped by feeding frequent small meals versus larger less frequent ones.
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12-02-2016, 03:28 PM,
#5
RE: Feedback on Liver tumor
(12-02-2016, 01:19 PM)meba Wrote:
(12-01-2016, 02:51 PM)dmarshall Wrote: I would appreciate any feedback on the diagnosis we received for our 12 year old miniature dachshund. She was a puppy mill rescue and came with a host of skin related issues. On Sunday, she was obviously not feeling well, vomiting and extremely uncomfortable. When her breathing became labored, we took her to the after hours clinic, where she was diagnosed with pancreatitis. Long story short, 2 days later, we find out she has a "massive" liver tumor. The doctor says surgery is the only treatment option with referral to a specialist in Memphis.  Does anyone have experiences they can share regarding such a significant procedure.

Sorry to hear about the finding.  Where any chest x-rays are taken? This would be important to check whether the tumor spread to the lungs - especially since you mentioned labored breathing. Perhaps you can ask your vet about the option of having an ultrasound guided aspirate or biopsy done? It might be in an area that this can be done. This might give you perhaps a better insight about  prognosis and whether a surgery would be worth it. I know that there are also benign tumors of liver such as hepatomas which offer a better prognosis than carcinoma, but not sure about percentage of chances of being benign or malignant, but with a biopsy it would be helpful to know what type of cancer it is as a starting point as to also know what kind of chemo drugs you can consider if it's feasible to go that route. Some vets also offer a minimally invasive biopsy option done with a laparoscope. Ideally, would be best though to consult with a veterinary oncologist to have an idea of the best options.. 

Also discuss with your vet about diet. When the liver enlarges due to cancer, it tends to press against the stomach, giving the dog a sense of fullness and loss of appetite which can be helped by feeding frequent small meals versus larger less frequent ones.
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12-02-2016, 10:52 PM,
#6
RE: Feedback on Liver tumor
For some reason, your messages are not coming through, on the quotes of messages sent to you. You can try using only the reply button instead of quote if you have any updates or questions.
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