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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like Copper (hi Copper's Mom!) my older goldens, especially my Toby (Copper's alter-ego) have lumps and bumps just everywhere. I think poor Toby must have one every couple of inches.
Some of them feel hard, some are soft, lots of variety in his lumps and bumps. Some are in the skin, some under it, some into the muscle.
Previously we've aspirated them as they've come up, but at this point I'm wondering at what point do you decide to just give it up??
Toby will be 12 in January. He's really in great spirits and has an excellent quality of life, but he does have some issues. He has no spleen, and we go around with demodex mange regularly. He has IBD, and he's having some problems with his back legs now.
So do I even want to know at this point if a lump is something "bad"? Would I treat it anyway? Or do I just watch the lumps for sudden changes and/or growth?
Would love to hear everyone's thoughts with dogs that are in their double digit years.
 

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Toby and copper sure are alter egos - just full of lumps and bumps and icky little growths.

My vet has never recommended aspirating Copper's growths and I keep forgetting to ask why. But then again, my vet isn't the best in the world.

Some of them feel hard, some are soft, lots of variety in his lumps and bumps. Some are in the skin, some under it, some into the muscle.
Yep - that describes Copper to a T. He has little wart sized growths all over, really big squishy ones under his armpits (lipomas), golfball sized ones in his hips (firm), one about 1/2" diameter "erupting" from his head, a golfball sized one underneath his tail, a large (big as hand with fingers) flat one on his left ribcage. More I can't remember at the moment.

The ones on his head and under his tail are very visible. they look to have a rather large blood supply and my vet is afraid he will start to bleed too much if he tries to remove them and it could turn into more serious surgery.

I won't have him put under to have them removed. I did that when they first appeared and they either came back or new ones appeared, but I think the risk of anesthesia is higher than the risk from these things. He has one pink warty one in his right armpit and has just starting worrying it. If he continues to lick/chew it my vet thinks he can take that one off with a local.

He had a huge lipoma removed from his abdomen when he had his splenectomy (maybe as big as Tiny's). the vet did it as a bonus (it was probably in the way). I must sheepishly admit that I thought he had a pot belly. I suspect he has them inside as well since they are located at the skin surface, close to the skin surface and also completely under muscle in multiple locations.

Even his specialist and surgeon have viewed these as a life threatening issue so I am pretty comfortable with just ignoring them as long as Copper and Jack (Jack "doctors" Copper) are not aggravating them.

I'll take pictures this weekend and we can compare!




 

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Momma to angel Cody
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My old boy Cody didn't have as many as Copper or Toby, but he had quite a few. I had the ones that made me suspicious aspirated, and my vet did keep a "lump map". My vet and I discussed what steps I would take if Cody had cancer, and by the time he was over thirteen, I had determined that he wouldn't have chemo or anything but palliative care. He had degenerative myelopathy, which ultimately killed him, and a busted mitral valve and had survived life-threatening acute hepatitis, so my decision was based on his quality of life rather than my wanting him to live forever. For me, deciding how much to put my beloved boy through before the fact helped determine what to do when the time came. Hope that helps.
 

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Tucker - Tanner - Cooper
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My bridge kid Tucker was just like Toby and Copper. It got to where you could only go so far while petting him and not feel something. I always called him my lumpy, bumpy. I had a chart that had so much writing on it - to keep track of all his little/big bumps. We (Tuck and I) had several conversations on these things. I told him he wasn't allowed to have anything bad and he agreed for the most part. I did get to a point as he got older that I really didn't know - if I wanted to know - if that makes any sense. When he was younger I had him put under a couple of times to remove the big ones and one near his eye that was bothering him. But for the most part I just watched and kept track of what was going on with him and promised him that I would do what I thought would be best for him and he agreed to let me. I lost Tuck when he was almost 13 and don't regret any decisions I made with him. Tanner my blonde boy just turned 9 and I have started to feel lumps on him. Only 2 so far and they were lipomas but that watch has started again.
 

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I have never met a senior golden that didn't have at least one lump it seems to go with the breed, or maybe just plain aging. Hopefully they are just that, lumps, i like the map keeping trick although Molson only has one on his side, and one on his leg which thankfully never interferes with movement. My vet never aspirated, just feels them checking for changes in density, size and shape.
 

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Yall could be describing my Beau. He was lump and bump central. My vet said if we tried to aspirate all of them he would be like a little pin cushion.
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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My vet aspirates Selka's and maps them. Selka is ten. He has many lipomas of different sizes but none interfere with his movement so far. He does have one on his backleg and one by his elbow that concern me if they continue to get bigger. He is on a diet and lost some weight which the vet says will slow down the growth and maybe prevent new ones. He has some that feel harder but the vet says that is because they are under muscle.

I want to know for sure what they are. If one did turn out to be something else, I guess we would make a decision then about what to do. But I would rather know and make an informed decision. I am not willing to ever prolong my dog's life for me, at cost to their quality of life but if I could do something to help their quality of life, I'd want to know early enough to do something about it.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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We have made the decision not to aspirate any more of Lexi's lumps. She is 10+ years old. To date her lumps have all been lipoma. We will offer pallitive care as needed if any of the lumps turn out to be more insidous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've pretty much made the same conclusion with both my Tiny and especially my Toby. They just seem to get so many new ones all the time that I'd be moving in with my vet and signing my paycheck over to him every week.
But more importantly, especially in Toby's case, due to his other health issues (esp. the demodex mange which we barely manage to keep supressed) we wouldn't be able to treat anything anyway. So I just sort of figure, if he's got 1000 that are lipomas, hopefully the 1001'st one is, too.
But I do worry sometimes if I make the right decision. He's just got one about every 2 inches these days.


We have made the decision not to aspirate any more of Lexi's lumps. She is 10+ years old. To date her lumps have all been lipoma. We will offer pallitive care as needed if any of the lumps turn out to be more insidous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, aspiration is very dangerous to my finances. ;)


Mary, why have you decided to no longer aspirate? Is there a danger to aspiration?
 

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Yes, aspiration is very dangerous to my finances. ;)

copper has never had a lump aspirated, but I believe I can still relate.:doh:
I swear I should just have my paycheck deposited to my vet's account.
I whine and complain, but I am sure glad I have the little booger around to spend my money on.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
seriously, I think my vet charges $23 or $25 to do it. It's not a big deal.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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Mary, why have you decided to no longer aspirate? Is there a danger to aspiration?
No, no danger in aspiration....

It is that if we were to find that she has cancer...we would not treat aggressively...

By all means she would get palliative care.

However with Lexi...there is a certain amount of mental trauma that she has to endure every time she goes to the vet.....repeated trips for bloodwork and evaluations would be too much (in my opinion) for her to endure.....especially with a weakened immune system.

For her, at some point ...the treatment would be more painful (mentally) then passing away sooner, but without the stress of repeated vet visits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They don't even use a local for a fine needle aspiration, it's just about a 2 minute office procedure.
It's nothing like a biopsy, which can be a very big deal!


It would have to be a clear matter of life and death before I ever put Daisy under anesthesia again. For anything.

I just keep an eye on her lumps.
 

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Coley - my cuddle bug
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Duke never had a biopsy. Just a needle aspiration that she looked at first - looked suspicious and then sent to CSU. The rest is history.

I had all of his lumps aspirated. The ones in front that were cancer grew so alarmingly fast and felt like a ripe plum - about that size, too. Scarey, scarey business!
 

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It is certainly a tough call. My first golden/irish mix had several "fatty masses" by the time she was 14. My vet never even suggested having them aspirated. I've known several other goldens that were bumpy in their senior years. Personally I would not aggressively treat a senior dog as harsh and hard as that may seem.
 

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My old lab Shadow was nicknamed "lumpy" at the end. She got NAILED by a deer once (boy this is a story!), I thought her back was broken. She had a HUGE inflammation on her side as a result, which went away and a large lypoma replaced it. Then she also had littler ones. My vets left them alone. They examined them every appointment, palpated and decided they were not bothering the dog they chose to leave them alone. We never aspirated or anything, and not one of them changed. We did watch them.

Max had a couple itty bitty ones one in her groin area. Nothing to really even talk about.
 

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My Belle, who was a shake-and-bake, had fatty lumps all over her chest. They were like chewed gum hanging off her. Our vet said they were harmless and would leave them and only remove them if they caused a problem. They never did...her fur covered them so you could not see them.

I would get them checked if they might be a problem but decide on conservative care if they are nothing major. Sometimes they are just lumpy.
 
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