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July 26, 2012


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Good for you, and good for Ling Ling! It's so hard to know what our pets really need...if only they could talk. Glad to hear her recovery is going well. By the way, I work with an FDA cleared PEMF therapy device called Assisi. It uses microcurrents to reduce swelling and edema post surgery. You might want to look into it: http://www.assisianimalhealth.com

Cheers, Naomi


I've been reading your blogs and you do so much to help these babies. They are lucky to have you as their Vet. I have a question but I didn't know where to go to start a new question. My male dog is 10 years old. Yesterday, I noticed he was licking his leg a lot. I felt of it and didn't feel anything and didn't notice him licking it anymore until today. I felt of his leg again today and he has a small lump about the size of my thumbnail and it has a pink area in the center where he has been licking it. It isn't warm to the touch, he isn't limping and he is eating and drinking good and still runs after squirrels, so he's acting his normal self. Should I just watch it and see if it grows or goes away before calling our Vet? If so, is there anything I can put on it - some wound care spray or something? Thank you in advance for your help.


Hello, LInda,

This could be anything from a skin tumor to a reaction to some sort of foreign body (splinter, etc.).

If it doesn't go away on its own in a few days, I'd let your veterinarian look at it. If it is low on the leg, you don't have a lot of loose skin to play with. If it is growing, you want to get it off while it's still small and easy to remove.


Thank you for your quick response. I'll definitely keep an eye on it. I haven't noticed him licking the area yet today and it wasn't wet when I felt the spot but there is still a small lump there. It is located on his forearm, so you are correct, there isn't a lot of loose skin.


Im happy that the doggy is doing well. I have a 12yr old dobie and he had developed a tumor on his chest. Under the car of vet they advised to leave it alone till need be taken out. Well its been a few years and his tumor has gotten bigger. When we decided it maybe a good time to take it out we noticed he developed 4 more on his groin. Well we decided to wait on the surgery for the chest to see how the groin ones
Would grow. They have grown really fast. So fast that they would have to be taken out soon too. My question is.. what do you do? These surgeries are gna be big and im thinking its gna be a hard recovery due to his age given its gna be his upper and lower body whether we do surgery one area at a time or all together. Not only that but its going to cost thousands of dollars for it to possibly grow back faster than before with or without having time to heal up. He is 12years old. Older than most dobermans we know. Im torn. Sld we let him continue to live his best and lay him to rest when it becomes bothersome or if there are any complications or do we do multiple operations?


Hello, Maria,

All of those choices can be realistic. I cannot choose for you. It is certainly true that even if the surgeries go well, you're not going to add another 12 years to his life.

On the other hand, if the tumors are causing him pain, I would schedule surgery for the largest one, and take biopsies from the others at the same time. It is possible that there could be medicine to shrink them to a more manageable size for removal. Or you could just biopsy several of them to see if medication might help shrink them before surgery.


My lab is 11 years old and has several lipomas. One is bigger than a soft ball. I would love to have it removed but she has a history of seizures and the vet is hesitant to remove it. Is there anything that will shrink it?


There was a study published in 2011 about doing liposuction in England. Removal was considered successful in more than 90%, but about 1/3 of them re-grew (apparently not completely removed). Regular surgery has a greater success rate. I don't know of anyone doing it in this country, and cannot find any more recent studies.

They also noted it would not work if it wasn't a simple lipoma, but had other strands of tissue in it.

If this were my patient, I would be getting a consultation with an anesthesia specialist about how best to handle a patient with seizures (or on seizure meds).


My 13 year old chihuahua has a fatty tumour on his chest the size of a tennis ball. it was tested and it is not cancerous. My concern is the size since it has tripled in size in the past 2 years. My vet was concerned with removing it because of his age than because of the anesthetic. Now I am worried that it won't stop growing and don't know what to do. I have read so much on the internet in favor and not in favor of surgery. If I knew the surgery would not be dangerous to do I would be doing it today. Not sure what to do . Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated


It sounds like the tumor has become large enough to be uncomfortable to the dog.

If your doctor is uncomfortable with anesthetizing your dog, you might ask for referral to a surgical specialist who has more support personnel.

Without knowing and seeing your dog, I really cannot speculate on the safety of the surgery.

I can say that we routinely operate on dogs of this age who don't have other serious medical problems.

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