Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Protecting Your Pet: Fatty Tumors
Sooner or later - many dogs and some cats develop fatty tumors. A common problem many pet owners ignore and can be a fatal mistake. Health specialist Marilyn Mitzel shows us why and also newer, gentler ways to get rid of them.
(WSVN) -- To say Skye has a tumor the size of a fist would be an understatement.
They can range in size -- from very small -- the size of a dime or they can be as large as a football in a large dog.
Diane Shurtz Havelka, Sky's mom: "It's obviously causing her pain now. It's effecting her nerves."
Fatty tumors can show up anywhere on the body.
They're more common in some breeds but any animal can get them - especially in older or overweight dogs.
Shirley Pardon: "When it started to grow I was at the vet."
Smart move - while these growths often start out benign they can turn cancerous.
Dr. Michael Fusco from Adams Veterinary Clinic: "When that happens the malignancy grows undetected because it's concealed by the fatty tumor."
That's why they should always be examined and sometimes removed.
Dr. Jan Bellows from Hometown Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic: "If its growing and it keeps growing -- take them out."
Judy had two of them taken out.
Shirley Pardon: "It got to about the size of a grapefruit -- but what was scary was that it was bigger under the surface. It certainly could have done internal damage if we just left it in."
Skye's were removed too.
Diane Shurtz: "I want her to feel better."
Veterinarian dr. Jan bellows uses a laser to remove them.
Dr. Jan Bellows from Hometown Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic: "It's vaporizing the nerve endings and the blood vessels -- so when the nerve endings are vaporized there's no pain for the animal and no bleeding so there is an advantage with that."
Diane Shurtz: "It gives me confidence there will be less pain because of the way the surgery is performed."
Dr. Michael Fusco uses another method.
Dr. Michael Fusco from Adams Veterinary Clinic: "I like to call it a liposqueeze technique."
The animal is put into a light sleep.
The fatty tumor injected with a solution to liquify it.
Then it's squeezed out through a tiny incision.
Dr. Michael Fusco from Adams Veterinary Clinic: "So there's no bleeding and no discomfort."
Judy and Skye breezed through it, and are feeling fine.
Shirley Pardon: "I don't leave anything to chance with the dogs."
Diane Shurtz: "I do what I can to keep her healthy."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Jan Bellows
Hometown Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic
Dr. Michael fusco
Adams Veterinary Clinic