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Ear Cancer (11 year old Cocker Spaniel)(4 Posts)
My Cocker Spaniel is 11 years and 8 months. He has ear cancer and we now face a dilemma as to whether to opt for further surgery.
He has had a tough year so far. In January he had an operation on his bladder for polyploid cystitis. This was a successful operation to remove benign growths, but there’s no guarantee that they won’t reappear and could cause problems by blocking the urethra.
Since then he has had recurring ear infections. A 2cm malignant lump was removed from the ear and then it grew back within 4 weeks. Total ear ablation (removing the ear canal etc.) would remove the cancer as it is localised. However it is a big operation.
Our dog is currently eating well, playing and enjoying his walks. The lump doesn’t seem to be bothering him too much either although it is growing quite rapidly. We are torn between doing all that we can to extend his life or just letting him live with the lump. I’m not sure I want to put him through another even bigger operation.
I’ve consulted a couple of vets and they have said it is a tricky decision to make. One suggested possibly a 60/40 bias in favour of going ahead with more surgery.
I would love to hear if anyone else has gone through a similar experience or has any advice. If our dog was younger/older/with no other health problems the decision would be easier to make.
I am sorry I don't have any experience as mine is a young dog and as you said it makes decisions like this much easier.
However, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer in situations like this. It's not just the operation but also the recovery time and how that would affect your dog.
I am always reluctant to comment as it's very easy to say what I think I would do when I am not actually faced with that dilemma but I would be edging towards giving him the best time he has left rather than facing a painful big operation especially if he has other medical conditions.
Sorry also no personal experience of ear cancer but I can understand how hard a decision this is.
I guess the vets are the ones to interrogate and help you make the decision. I agree with Bitey that there is no right or wrong decision
I decided against surgery for my ddog last month but she was poorly (blockage in her stomach, possible tumour and other things), I decided surgery would be too big for her so she was PTS
She was 11 years old. I think if she had been fit and well I would have gone through with surgery but she hadn’t been well for a while and was stiff in her back legs.
It’s a hard decision to make.