Mae was bought to the clinic with an abnormal lump attached to one of her mammary glads (teats). After taking a small sample of the lump (needle biopsy), we had a strong suspicion that the lump was cancerous.
In order to check for possible metastasis (cancer spread), we performed chest radiographs and an abdominal ultrasound. Fortunately, there was no evidence of spread so Mae was taken to surgery to have the lump removed. We also desexed Mae and cleaned her teeth while under the same general anaesthetic. With consent and as requested from her parents of course. Having multiple procedures done under the same general anaesthetic minimises the cost for Mae's parents.
Once the lump was removed, it was sent to an external laboratory for further testing. The results came back confirming that the lump was a malignant tumour called a mammary adenocarcinoma. Due to their aggressive nature, recurrence is possible, however we are hopeful that Mae remains cancer-free for a prolonged period of time. Her owners report that Mae is doing very well and back to her boisterous self.
Mammary tumours are more common in female dogs that are either not spayed or desexed after 2 years of age. The risk of a dog developing a mammary tumour is only 0.5% if spayed before their first heat (approximately 6 months of age) but increases to 8% after their first heat, and then 26% after their second heat. This is one of the reasons that our Vets recommend early desexing. Please monitor your pets closely and bring them in to us as soon as your notice a lump.