When your dog has a tumour: Surgical removal options

24 October 2018
 Categories: , Blog

The scary nature of tumours is not only limited to humans. Your furry companion may also develop tumours on many different parts of the body. Tumours arise due to environmental conditions, dietary options, and any hereditary conditions that your dog may have obtained from its lineage.

If you find out that your dog has a tumour, the best approach is to have it surgically removed. There is always the risk that the tumour might be cancerous (malignant) and it may spread in your dog's body if left untreated. If caught early, surgical removal is effective and results in few side effects to your dog.

Factors that will determine the success of surgery

The surgical removal of tumours in dogs needs to be carefully planned. If the tumour is only partially removed, it may regrow and affect your furry companion's health. A benign (non-cancerous) tumour can still affect your dog if it grows to a large size. Indeed, large tumours take up space for blood vessels and other internal organs. If the growth is cancerous, resultant health effects will depend on the type of cancer that your dog has.

The success of a surgical removal procedure will depend on how early the tumour was detected, how accessible it is for the vet, and which technique will be used to extract it. Your vet will begin by taking a sample of the tumour to determine the nature of the affected cells. If the tumour is accessible and a clear area around the growth can be extracted (without affecting other neighbouring cells), the surgical procedure is likely to be highly successful.

The surgical removal process

The process of removing a tumour in your dog will begin by your vet testing the tumorous cells. A sample will be taken (via a needle) to check for cancerous cells. If the tumour is malignant, the vet will also determine how much it has spread to other parts of the body.

Next, your dog will be assessed for its overall health (via blood tests, pain relief medications, and IV fluids). The vet will deliver an anaesthetic to enable your dog to relax during the procedure. During the surgical procedure, an incision will first be made to access the tumour, after which the growth will be carefully removed along with nearby tissues around the growth area.

Most dogs are able to fully recover from surgery in about two weeks after removal of the tumour. As long as your dog doesn't lick the wounded site or rupture its stitches, the recovery success rate will be high. For more information on vet surgery, contact your local animal clinic today.