Hi all,

I have not peeked in in a while. 

My 11.5 year old goldendoodle, Pierre has been getting lipomas for three years. They are all over but have been on the surface.  He also had a small metastatic tumor on his eye lid two years ago, I know it is rare, but supposedly the type he had only hangs out around the eyes. The surgery went well and he looks just fine. My vet said his eyes are starting to get cloudy from old age when we had his physical Thursday. His blood work is fine. 

Now he has something the vet thinks is infiltrative making his right rear, hind/thigh much bigger than his left leg area. She tried to aspirate but only got blood, not like his other lipomas. It may be under his muscles, because it is not easily moveable like his other lipomas.

I have been crying since yesterday. I am in knots. I am afraid we are near the end. My vet thinks Pierre needs to go to a vet specialty complex about an hour from my home for a CT Scan or maybe an MRI to get an idea of what it is. If any of you have dealt with this issue, please let me know how it was diagnosed and if you decided to treat it, what was the outcome? 

I have done a search, but it looks like some dogs have since passed on. And if they had this surgery, they did not live significantly longer. 

I live alone most of the time. I am older. Pierre has been one of the greatest joys in my life. He has certainly been a big help during the pandemic. I started crying when he turned 8, because I knew his life was half over. it sounds silly, I know. He is not my first dog. My last long love was a Samoyed who made it to 13, and the last two years were tough for her. I finally needed to end her suffering. She was such a good girl. Pierre has been my favorite dog of all time.  Doodles are so smart and such great true companions. 

I have had enough dogs and cats to know I do not want to do anything long and exhaustive, and at this age  I am very practical, but I am going to be a basket case. If I don't have Pierre, my house will be quiet for the first time since I can't remember. I always had other animals to cushion the blow. This time I do not. I just helped my daughter raise her pandemic puppy, an English Lab and I know I am not ready for a puppy. Maybe I could volunteer somewhere if they allow. I feel like I need a plan to get through this. 

Any words of wisdom? 

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  • I really think that you need to find out exactly what you are dealing with before you can make any kind of plan or decision, and I also think that knowing exactly what it is would go a long way towards helping with your mental/emotional health as well. There is no harm or danger in making the phone call to the specialty center and just finding out what the diagnostics would involve. I am a little surprised that your vet doesn't know whether it would involve an MRI, a CAT scan, or something else...ultrasound, perhaps? None of them are invasive, although my Jack did have to be sedated for an MRI. But at any rate, you cannot make a decision to treat or not to treat, let alone start comtemplating what you will do when Pierre is gone until you know what you are treating and what the prognosis might be. It might be something simple and easily removed/treated. Make the appointment. 

    • Thank you Karen. A few years back when Pierre had an eye lid tumor you had given me good advice back then, too. I did ask about an ultrasound, but she thought an MRI and or CT scan would be better in terms of seeing it for possible surgery. I did query her further yesterday, because the veterinarian specialists want her to send a referral first, in order to give me an appointment for the correct specialists. Maybe the specialists may have a ultra sound machine that visualizes deep tissues? To be determined. My local emergency hospital just does ultra sound and CT. I am going to come back to this discussion a little later today. I thank everyone  for taking the time to respond to me. I need to take a walk and get some fresh air for my thoughts. Thank you all! 

  •  Also, I'm not sure what kind of searches you are doing here, but I did see that you commented on two discussions (one quite old) in which the dogs had very different conditions from what it sounds like Pierre has. One of them was a dog with a hot spot, completely unrelated to lipomas or any other kind of tumor. Please, find out what you are dealing with before you do anything else. 

    • Yes, Pierre started having hot spots about age 3. He had to go on allergy medication and my vet thought he might be allergic to grass, (it was a long time ago) so most of my backyard was converted to wood chips to help him, as the vet suggested. He also was having more frequent ear infections and a switch in foods helped. Then about two years ago he was throwing up too frequently and was switched to a hydrolyzed protein diet which the vet writes prescriptions for through Chewy. That stopped the throwing up issue. 
      I have read in the past about the issues one of your dogs was dealing with and I am so grateful for your experience and knowledge.

      I checked this morning and the specialty/ trauma vet center confirmed they now have Pierre's records. It a huge 28k sq ft facility. The first appointment they could give me with a surgeon is next Friday morning. I will call for any cancellations. Where I live new pets are all over since the pandemic so the veterinarians are incredibly booked and trying to hire extra hands.

      Thank you, again.

      • My Jack had many of the same issues as Pierre, and all of them stem from a hyperactive immune system. We saw specialists for all of them. With the allergies, it MUST be reliably diagnosed by a veterinary dermatology specialist. A GP guessing at the allergens, i.e. "my vet thought he might be allergic to grass" is not really helpful. Maybe he is allergic to grass, but even then, it would be an allergy to specific grass types; my Jack was allergic to fescue, but not to blue grass, for example, along with 14 other things including several types of weeds and one tree. And the allergic response is caused by inhaling the pollen, not by coming into contact with the grass or weeds. Pollen travels up to 400 miles on the air. So replacing the grass in your yard wouldn't really help, lol. This is just one example of why a specialist is usually needed, and why we cannot rely on GP vets to diagnose and treat everything. (This info is meant for anyone who might be reading this discussion, I am not suggesting that you should see a vet dermatologist at this point in time, lol.) Jack also had IBD, again reliably diagnosed by a veterinary internal medicine specialist via endoscopy. Both of these issues stem from an immune system that is overactive. And Jack also had a hemangiosarcoma on his third eyelid, and that was surgically removed by a veterinary eye specialist. He did have lots of lipomas as well, but none that became invasive or required surgery. At any rate, I was able to manage all of these things for many years and give him a good quality of life, all due to seeing specialists for proper diagnosis and treatment. What did eventually kill my boy was incompetence and malpractice by bottom-of-the-barrel vets at a 24-hr E.R., and had the issue arisen during normal business hours, he would have been saved. 
        I am glad you have an appt. with a specialist. Please keep us posted.  

        • Oh gee whiz! Pollen travels for 400 miles! I had no idea. I considered an allergy specialist and decided to go with the apoquel, after doing some research about it. He has done well on the apoquel and gets a full blood work up every year. I am surrounded by forest lands so plenty of pollen. I keep my yard organic. I am glad Jack was not seriously bothered by any lipomas. Today I caught his eyes in just the right light to see how much more cloudy one eye is compared to the other. The vet had spotted it, too and said it was just age and nothing to do at this time.Not a cataract. Not glaucoma. Sigh. It’s hard to see them age. I think I caught his eye lid tumor quickly. My vet is five minutes away and one of five in the practice. It healed up beautifully and the biopsy had good margins.
          Our local 24 hour emergency vet service is not my first choice either, but the larger, super, multi-expert, based place is an hour away without traffic or an accident. It could easily take 2 hours or longer one way at the wrong time. We just do the best we can at the moment. I am so sorry to hear about Jack. I know you did all you could do for him.
          Pierre gets extra massages now and I watch that hind leg more closely.

          • I hate to tell you this, but Apoquel has been linked to cancer in dogs. I know several people whose dogs did develop cancers after being treated with it. More importantly, the FDA issued the manufacturers a warning about false safety claims and required them to cite the risks of cancer in the advertising and labeling, based on studies that confirmed the risk. And I have heard a class action lawsuit is being planned. 
            https://www.fda.gov/media/113909/download#:~:text=Do%20not%20use%20....

            https://www.fda.gov/media/113909/download#:~:text=Do%20not%20use%20APOQUEL%20in,existing%20cancers%…
  • Here is a discussion by someone whose dog actually did have an infiltrative lipoma; the only member here I could find who has dealt with this, and the discussion is 6 years old. It appears the dog had several surgeries for this and was still alive and going strong afterwards, so it is not a death sentence: https://doodlekisses.com/group/healthandmedicalissues/forum/infiltr...

    Infiltrative Lipoma tumor
    My GoldenDoodle, Maggie (the blonde) was diagnosed with an Infiltrative lipoma tumor (non cancerous).  It started as a lump that continued to grow in…
    • Thank you. I did find that one and I think a Rosco. It's a rare condition, thankfully, and not easy to find many discussions about it. I do appreciate anyone who shares about medical issues to not only help their pet, but to help others down the line. 

  • I'm so sorry Pierre has something quite worrisome.  If you can, I'd get a diagnosis, then make decisions as to treatments or care. 

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