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Mass behind dog's left ear diagnosed as a tumor

by Julia
(Temple, TX)

My 10 yr. old Italian Greyhound, Wylie has what our vet has called a tumor behind his left ear. This just came up about 2 or 3 days ago; our visit with the vet was yesterday, 12-18-10.

The vet tried to drain the lump in case it was a lymph node, but she is positive that it is a tumor. Wylie is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning (Monday, 12-20-10).

I'm sure that he will come out of the surgery with no problems, but I was also told that a sample would have to be sent to the pathology lab at Texas A&M to determine whether this is benign or malignant.

Do you have any experience with a case like this? Wylie has always been very healthy except for his hypo-thyroid condition, which is controlled with medication.

I'm so worried and would appreciate any information that you can provide.



Comments for Mass behind dog's left ear diagnosed as a tumor

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Dec 20, 2010
My Online Vet Response for Mass behind dog's left ear diagnosed as a tumor
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Julia,
Great photo of Wylie, but you did not include one of the 'tumor'. In my 30 years of veterinary experience, tumors do not 'appear' in just 2 or 3 days. What usually happens, especially if it is a mass that develops under the skin, is that it has been there for several weeks to months, and when it reaches 1/3 to 1/2 inch in diameter, then it is suddenly noticed by the owner.

But, it could also be an insect bite or sting, or a small wound such as an abscess or seroma, and that would appear in 2-3 days and look the same as a tumor.

If it is large enough for a needle 'aspirate' to obtain tissue or fluid, this sample could be sent in for cytology. This would determine what kind of cells make up the mass. And tell you if it is a tumor, abscess, or allergic reaction to an insect. You mentioned that the veterinarian did this, but has scheduled Wylie for a surgery, anyway, to have the mass sent in for analysis.

My suggestion would be not to act in such haste. I would delay surgery, and observe this 'tumor' or mass over the next 2 weeks. If it is indeed growing rapidly and doubles in size, perhaps it is a serious tumor. If it is an abscess or insect bite or sting it will start to shrink or break open and drain.

You did not mention if Wylie had a blood panel done. In which case, your veterinarian may have determined that Wylie has a more serious underlying condition, such as lymphoma. But treatment for lymphoma would not include a surgery.

In either case, I would suggest seeking the help of a holistic vet. Wylie's hypothyroid condition can be addressed, a healthier low cal diet can be started, such as a raw diet... check our page on the 10 best dog food options for more information.

And AVOID additional dog vaccinations. Consider having antibody titers to measure Wylie's protective level. Hypothyroidism is suspected to be an autoimmune condition, sometimes originating from a reaction to a vaccine. The same vaccine factors that seem to cause tumors and warts.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Canine Tumors (Dog Cancer),
- Dog Warts,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Canine Tumors/Dog Cancer Section

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