Hello. My name is Melissa. I have been a member of the Rainbow bridge pet forum for a while.
   At times it is hard to come to this website, because it reminds me of my other little ones that I have lost in the past..
    Anyway, I have a question that I wanted to ask you all. I am wondering if this statement from a lab indicates that our little one might have cancer...
   To give you some background, we have a 12 year old shihtzu, in November 2008 she had surgery for bladder stones, to get them removed. They were removed. About a month later I noticed a odd growth, small at the time, about marble size. This growth was at the incision site..
    In March of 2009, we took her to the vet, and he wasn't sure what it could be because of most recently opening her up to remove the bladder stones.
    He did a biopsy, and sent it to the lab, the lab report is as follows"""""""""Source/History----Mass caudal ventral abdomen near abdominal incision post-op cystotomy-11/17/08 for Ca Oxalate stones.. 4 slides submitted.
   Microscopic description--Not Requested..
    Cytological Interpretation---Findings are suggestive of carcinoma with necrosis, slight mixed-cell inflammation and variable blood..
   Comments---Primary rule out considered for this mass based on the cytologic findings observed is carcinoma of undetermined cytogenic origin. Correlation with other ancillary diagnostic data (e.g. biopsy for histopathologic evaluation, clinical staging/extent of disease, bloodwork and urinalysis, etc.) would be informative.
    There was no cytologic evidence of infection on the preparations evaluated."""""""""""""""""""""""""

       So this is what was done on March 2009. We have noticed since then that this growth in her lower belly has grown alot, it went from the size of a marble to a year later, to the size of 5 or 6 green grapes tape together..

What is unusual about her, before all this had happened she weighed 13.4 lbs, I had her weighed on Wednesday, and she now weighes 10.6, this is almost 12 months later.

 The vet is surprised that she is still alive, she is in Kidney Failure, by recent blood work results that were done when she had a small brain stroke in early February 2010.
    She still drinks water everyday, and still has some energy as she is inquisitive and barks at unknown dogs, and even at times runs alittle bit. She sleeps alot, but when she is up, she is alert, tires easily though, but still not lethargic....

Her eating is another issue, she eats Gerber baby food, a few licks here and there, and we try to feed her whatever she will eat, we try to give her things that have alot of protein in it.. I should also mentioned we have 4 other small shihtzu doggies.
She eates alittle each day but not as much as she used to..We wish she would eat more, I hate the idea of her losing weight...

She is on Amoxiciilian 1 pill each day at 100mg for her bladder infection, and 25 mg rimadyl pain pill each day as well...

The vet thought that she would only have 5 or 6 months from March 2009, before going to the rainbow bridge, but she is still here, almost a year later. He is surprised she is still going, albeit slowly, when it comes to eating, but each day up until today, she has had spirit..

So my question is, I think that the above-mentioned lab report does say she has cancer, but I would like to ask the people here on the forum.

I am also wondering if there is any treatments that we are not thinking of that might help get rid of this growth, if it is cancer, or if it is something else...She has lost weight, just not as much as other people's dogs that are small and have cancer. Only 2.8lbs in a year...

I love her immensely and any insights that anyone can provide would be most grateful..

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Melissa,  you may want to read an earlier post from me about my dog Nala. She had cancer and was given 3-6 months and fought to stay with us for 3 years.  I am not a Vet so I can't comment on your lab report.  But I would strongly recommend that you ask your Vet to explain it to you or find another Vet who will.  We took our dog to a specialist when she first showed symptoms.  First they said it was Cushings, then they found a tumor on her liver and her lungs.  Her life was like your dog's with a slow and steady decline.  We visited 2 vets and a specialist to determine the only course for treatment was surgery and chemo/radiation and still no guarantees. I am not sure what you can do if you have not found a Vet who has offered a course of treatment except love her.

Our dog went from slowly losing her appetite to losing bowel control to losing control of her rear legs to not eating at all.  We knew when she flinched whenever we went to pet or hug her and could not keep found down, it wasn't fair to ask her to keep fighting to stay with us. 

I hope you find the answers you are looking for.   This is never easy. 
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Dear Nalasmom- Thank you so much for your tech support as well as emotional! I gave up on the iPhone and went on the computer-- I can do pics now!
Melissa~ When I got the biospy results for Joey, what we had originally thought was thyroid cancer was actually hemangiosarcome. I googled everthing I could about it, so maybe if you google your shihtzu's lab results you may find out some more information. Even with such a devastating diagnosis as I received at least I was able to make informed decisions about treatments and was able to prepare (as much as it is possible to prepare) for him leaving me too soon.
This picture (if it works!) was taken about two months ago, at the vet's office where I was informed of what was to come.

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You can post to this online Dr to see what he has to say..   It is free to post to him..    I hope he can help you, he is a Holistic Vet.


here is the link to go there.
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So sorry to hear what you are going through,your result paper says findings are suggestive of carcinoma this means it has not yet been confirmed.Did your vet do the other tests?as the result paper is saying a biopsy,staging of disease,bloodwork and urinalysis would help to diagnose this.
 I really do think your best plan would be to go back to vets and ask them to be more thourough in explaining your result paper and what you can do if this is confirmed carcinoma or what treatment is needed if it is not,if any.
I think you are are doing all that you can in the mean time by feeding her what ever she will eat,perhaps you could buy some meal replacements,kind of what adults eat when they are ill and cannot eat much,it is packed full of carbs,protein,energy etc.
Good luck with nursing her back to health,my thoughts are with you both.xx

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Dear Melissa,

I'm so sorry you are so unsure of what's going on.   Call your vet and ask someone to explain exactly what the diagnosis is, and what you can do for her.  Find out if you can give her subcutaneous fluids for the CRF, or maybe blood pressure meds to prevent another stroke?  Phenobarbytol to prevent seizures if actual stroke has been ruled out.
  Ask if you can get her some pain meds to have on hand in case she needs them.  Just knowing you have them if you need them can be a real blessing.  Our vets understand that we are lay people, and that we don't always understand the language on the diagnostic results.

You and your beautiful girl are in my thoughts and prayers.  I have known and loved some very special little Shihs in my life, and I can just imagine how your heart aches right now.  Please keep us posted on how you're getting along.

My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley




In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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I just wanted to send my thoughts too, everyone seems to share my thoughts that you deserve to know exactly what they mean and what your choices are. if you voice most of what you have written to us, any caring vet will bed over backwards to cover all questions and possible care. stamp your foot if need be and speak to someone else too, your totally entitled to. she is very lucky to have an owner so caring, i wish every owner were like people on this site. keep chatting and i hope it goes well. xxxx
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