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Ask the Veterinarian/benign tumor growth


I got my dog two years ago. She's now about 8 years old. When I got her from the pound, they had just spayed her and found two large benign tumors in the process. When I got her, I found a mammary tumor that I didn't remember seeing before, so I had it checked and it was benign. That one is still about the same size, but now, I notice a new one under a different tit by the softer part of her underbelly. This one is larger than the other, about two or three inches wide, which must mean it's been growing cause I never noticed it before. My question is: given that surgery is more dangerous for older dogs, might it be more safe to have it excised now, rather than wait for it to get larger and put her into surgery when she's older?

Yes by all means get them removed. But I must tell you Mati, that a dog that was spayed as late as 6 yrs old is going to continue to get mammary tumors once they start to get them. It's just something that seems to happen.

That is why vets always stress the importance of spaying a dog before the age of 3 or 4. Once they hit 4 it doesn't matter how old they are when they are spayed, the risk of developing these tumors is very high.

You were wonderful to adopt her and while you had nothing to do with the age she was spayed, you now have to deal with the consequences of someone else's lack of care. I am sorry that you both have to go through that.

If you are diligent about checking her and having them removed while they are small, the surgeries will be a lot easier on her. Maybe at some point they will stop growing as well.

It's really hard to say, because it's not an exact science. Just keep doing what you are and hope for a cure for these things!!

And benign means that they probably won't metastasize to her lungs or brain.It doesn't mean they are not a cancer because mammary tumors are breast cancer.

Just thought you should know that. Give her lots of hugs and kisses!!  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

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Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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