Should I Put My Elderly Dog Under Surgery?

by Geena Blakey

Hi. My 13 and a half year old American bulldog has had a tumor on her breast for about 3 year and it had gotten bigger since then. She also recently had an episode of cardiovascular disease and my vet advised me it would be best not to but her under anesthesia as it could trigger another episode.

I think it is most likely cancer and I can feel a very small bump on another one of her breast now. Is it worth it to have her go through surgery. She is quite fit for her age but I don’t want to risk it if she could die or be put under a lot of stress on her body. What should I do?

Editor Suggestion - The Decision to Put Your Elderly Dog Under Surgery

Hi Geena,

I'm so sorry to hear about your American bulldog's health issues. Your dog has several challenging medical conditions. This sounds like a complex situation that requires

When making decisions about your pet's health, there are several factors to consider:

Quality of life: This should be the foremost consideration. Evaluate how the tumor and any related illnesses are affecting your dog's day-to-day life. Is she in pain? Has her behavior, eating habits, or ability to walk changed?

Risk vs. Benefit of Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be able to extend a dog's lifespan and improve its quality of life. However, the benefits must be weighed against the potential risks, which can include complications from
anesthesia, post-surgical infections, and other factors. In your case, your vet has already identified a potential risk with anesthesia due to your dog's recent cardiovascular disease episode.

The nature of the tumor: You've mentioned that the tumor has been growing over time, and now there is a new small bump. These could potentially be signs of malignancy, but only a vet can confirm this through diagnostic tests.

Age and Overall Health: Age alone isn't a determinant for surgery, but older dogs often have other health issues that can complicate recovery. Your vet should be able to advise on whether your dog's overall health condition makes surgery a viable option.

Since your dog's health situation seems to be complicated by her age and other health conditions, I would advise discussing this further with your vet or seeking a second opinion from another professional.

Another Vet may recommend further diagnostic testing to better understand the nature of the tumors and potential impacts of surgery. It might be possible to perform less invasive diagnostic tests or treatments that won't put as much strain on her cardiovascular system.

Last, palliative care could be another option to consider. This involves managing your dog's symptoms to make her as comfortable as possible, without attempting to cure her condition.

Remember, it's crucial to keep your dog's comfort and quality of life at the forefront of any decision you make.

Whatever path you choose, I hope the best for both you and your dog.

Editor and Publisher
Dog Health Guide

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