My pup has had a hard time with her liver values being too high, and extreme reactions to vaccines and meds since she was about a year old, and now she is 5. With a lot of effort we got her liver values down to the 500s (still too high with normal being a quarter of that, but better than the 900 she had). We did this by moving to a home-cooked non-processed diet and denamarin. Now suddenly, we found a lump near her right armpit, and aspiration shows that it is likely a soft-tissue tumor. They want to surgically remove it and then test for malignancy. 

Anyone ever tried getting non-invasive scans such as ultrasound and X-ray before going the surgery route? We don't want to subject her immune system and liver to unnecessary burden.

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  • I don't think a scan or an X-ray will tell you if a tumor is malignant or benign, for that, you need a biopsy. 
    However, my labradoodle had a number of lumps and bumps over the years, including many lipomas, which are benign fatty tumors, and the needle biopsies always told us that's what they were. Needle aspiration will usually give you some idea of what kind of cells are composing the lump. 
    There can also be healing issues when you do surgery in the axilla, because the area is subject to a lot of friction, and doesn't get a lot of air flow. That would be my hesitation in removing it.

  •  I wouldn't be concerned about a simple surgical procedure burdening her liver or her immune system. 

  • I think the current thought about the fatty tumors so many of our dogs get is to leave them alone unless they are in an area that impacts movement.  Is the reason they want to remove it because they suspect that it's not benign even though their tests are showing that it is,  or is it because it is in a place where, if allowed to grow, will impact movement? Can it be watched for a period before you make a decision, or do you need to make the decision immediately? You have to do what you think is best in this situation. Trust your gut.

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