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Tumor surgery
An_254451 posted:
We have a 6 year old Chi mix. Our vet diagnosed him as having a 7 cm tumor on his liver. She said without surgery he will die. She said the tumor appears to be encapsulated on the outer edge of one lobe of the liver. She thinks it could be successfully removed. She said she has not done that particular surgery before, but felt like she and another vet in our clinic could handle it. However, she said we might want to have the procedure done at a high level clinic with soft tissue surgical specialists in our city. She contacted the clinic and was quoted the surgery at between $3500-4000. Our vet said she could do it for about half. We don't have pet insurance and the lower cost procedure would work better with our finances. But, we don't want to take a chance with our dog's life. We are not sure what to do. Thanks.
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
You ask a good question and hard one for me to directly answer. You need to clarify with your veterinarian a couple of things. Generally in private practice we offer to do a procedure that a specialty surgeon might have more expertise doing but we are comfortable being able to safely for the pet do a good job. Other times it is way out of our league. Veterinarians uphold the edit of doing no harm and we generally are not going to suggest doing any procedure which might harm a pet or as you put it, take a chance with your dog's life. So I would talk to your veterinarian. I also wonder what type of tumor this might be: has an aspirate or biopsy been done to determine what it is and how best to remove it, etc. That information might help you. Also know that you can make an appointment with the surgeon and get that second opinion as to what they think, how they would deal with the liver mass. That might be good information so you can decide what is best to do next. Again, share your concerns with your family veterinarian. Dr. Sandy


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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