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Is mammary tumor cancerous?

Species: Dog
Breed: Chihuahua and Dachsh
Age: 5-8 years
I'm wondering whether to remove a small tumor from my 7 yr old chihuahua/dachshund's breast. Vet said there's a 50% chance it is cancer and there is a 5% chance dog would not survive surgery. I am unsure what to do. If dog doesn't survive surgery I'll never forgive myself. Can they do a biopsy w/out anesthesia to see if it's even cancerous? Thanks so much.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Unfortunately with mammary tumors, doing a fine needle aspirate usually doesn't tell us much about whether the tumor is benign or malignant.

I'm surprised your vet said there was a 5% chance that she would not survive surgery. Does she have other health issues such as a loud heart murmur?

In my practice if I saw a dog with a small mammary tumor I would always recommend removing the tumor and sending it away to find out what it was. And as your vet mentioned, with mammary tumors there is a 50/50 chance that it is cancerous.

I hope everything goes ok!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.