To operate at 15?

Greetings fellow Basenji lovers.
I am miserably conflicted and seeking advice & insight.
my girl is unspayed at 15, a decision I will always regret.
Now, at 15, she presents with mammary tumor for which the vet feels, after testing, is operable.
Friends and family implore me not to "put her through it" and also cite basenji intolerance for sedation.
Would anyone care to offer imput?
(I'm Kristina, she is Jamila!)

Thank you so much.

Basenji Mix

I tried to "save" my old boy Rocky once at 14 y.o. He had a tumor/cancer removed on his rear hip. In his case, he had to endure radiation treatments. The last 1-1/2 year of his life he lived in extreme pain due to the radiation. It was one of those cases where the "cure was worse than the disease." I loved him too much to let him go. I did not know what the consequences of helping him live longer. In the end, I felt rather selfish and I am sorry for that. That's my story. You should do what you feel is best for your girl, Jamila.

@Jamila:

Greetings fellow Basenji lovers.
I am miserably conflicted and seeking advice & insight.
my girl is unspayed at 15, a decision I will always regret.
Now, at 15, she presents with mammary tumor for which the vet feels, after testing, is operable.
Friends and family implore me not to "put her through it" and also cite basenji intolerance for sedation.
Would anyone care to offer imput?
(I'm Kristina, she is Jamila!)

Thank you so much.

Does the Vet think that she is in good health otherwise? How was her blood work? Typically a Vet will not suggest surgery on an older dog unless they feel there is a good chance and also that they are in good health otherwise. Basenjis have intolerance for only some sedation, there are many safe ones that are used and most Vets use these types now days… If she is in good health and her blood work is normal, I would do it...

Also, typically there would not be radiation after the surgery if they get all the tumor and you even if there was, you would not have to have it done. My friend's Basenji has a cancer tumor in his throat, he has it removed but didn't do the radiation treatment and he did live for another year…. pretty much normal till the last month or so...

Apparently only mild kidney changes, and no spread to lungs..
I so appreciate the replies.
Thank you!

@Duke:

I tried to "save" my old boy Rocky once at 14 y.o. He had a tumor/cancer removed on his rear hip. In his case, he had to endure radiation treatments. The last 1-1/2 year of his life he lived in extreme pain due to the radiation. It was one of those cases where the "cure was worse than the disease." I loved him too much to let him go. I did not know what the consequences of helping him live longer. In the end, I felt rather selfish and I am sorry for that. That's my story. You should do what you feel is best for your girl, Jamila.

Bless Rocky ~ and you too for your loving efforts.. and also for your reply.

@tanza:

Also, typically there would not be radiation after the surgery if they get all the tumor and you even if there was, you would not have to have it done. My friend's Basenji has a cancer tumor in his throat, he has it removed but didn't do the radiation treatment and he did live for another year…. pretty much normal till the last month or so...

Thank you. A year is good! I will weigh and pray!

Kristina

@Jamila:

Apparently only mild kidney changes, and no spread to lungs..
I so appreciate the replies.
Thank you!

Since the blood work up is so good… IMO (and again this is just me) I would do the surgery.... mild kidney changes in a bitch her age is pretty "darn" good... as I have a bitch that will be 16 in August that is in renal failure and supported by SubQ fluilds a couple of time a week... and while she is doing OK... I certainly would not do surgery on her... That said... with surgery even if the Kidneys are not doing that well, they support with lots of fluids before, during and after.... and 99% do quite well....

Discuss your concerns about sedation and ask what they use.. this will help calm your fears... and while anytime surgery is a risk, sounds to me like your girl is good shape for a surgery

Thank you so much. We'll be going in in the morning to further assess and finally decide.
I do feel so much better having your posts and the others as well.
Very best wishes to your girl, and you too.
Thank you.
Kristina~Jamila

Let us know how your girl is doing, regardless of what you decided

Keep us posted - I'll keep good thoughts for her!

Any update on your girl?

I had the exact decision that you have to make a couple of years ago. The tumor that Ginger had grew to the size of a large baked potato almost overnight.

She seemed fine except for this growth. I took her to the vet while we debated what to do. My options were to put her down, remove tumor and test for cancer and for any spread, leave it alone and eventually it would get hooked on something and get holes and gross looking. She was healthy and happy and bouncing around. The growth was in one of the farther back areas. The vet told me that the last 2 nipples are not connected to the others so there was a good chance that it had not spread. I opted to have it removed - did not do a biopsy or any other testing as there was not much to do and knowing or not knowing really didn't matter. I should mention that my vet does laser surgery so that reduces the potential for bleeding, healing time is reduced.

3 weeks with a dog wearing a cone and keeping her quiet - just eating was a challenge for her. She however did do just fine. It only bought her another 5 months. So in retrospect should I have done it - I don't know. I know that she did get to enjoy one more summer of laying in the sun but was it worth the $ I spent - I don't know -

I do know that you have to do what your heart tells you. I chose a middle of the road option to do the removal but no further testing - it would have been easier for me if I had put her down - but she seemed to be so healthy and happy that I couldn't see doing it at the time. So assess your dogs current quality of life and do what you think is best.

Good luck whatever your decision.

Health concerns can be expensive. I think it is important to make them as comfortable as you can financially as their guardian, but like dmcarty, you may not need to have the tumor tested.

Unfortunately, no one can tell you what the right thing is to do. I found great support from the site by sharing my experiences. And it really helped in those powerless moments where I had to decide the fate of my basenji. Please keep us posted on her and you as well.

🙂

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