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Tumor on spinal cord.

Species: Dog
Breed: Shetland Shetie
Age: 11-15 years
My dog is diagnosed with cancer. An NMR has been done. The tumor is affecting his spinal cord and therefore his back legs has little response. The vet said that he is too old and the tumor is getting bigger and no treatment is available. I want to look for a second opinion before we decide to put him to sleep. Your help and comments will really be useful. Thanks in advance.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh I am sorry to hear about Loklok's diagnosis of a spinal tumor. From what you have described it sounds like there really is not much that can be done. I have heard of some cases where a tumor that is pushing on the spinal cord could be removed, but these are rare. In most cases, a tumor in this area is inoperable. If it was one of the rare ones where surgery could be done then it would definitely need to be done by a specialist and would be extremely expensive.

However, if it is at the point where he has no nervous response in his hind legs then this means that significant damage is being done in the spinal cord. I think that the chances of a surgical cure would be almost nothing.

I wish I had better news for you. I know that the decision to euthanize is never easy, but it sounds like this is the kindest option for Loklok.

Dr. Marie.


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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.

Customer reply:

Dear Dr Marie,
If this is the case, when should I consider putting loklok to sleep? And how is the process?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This decision is one that is best made with the help of your veterinarian. If they feel that Loklok is in pain or uncomfortable now then euthanasia really should be done soon.

Here is more information on the euthanasia procedure.

It is usually quite peaceful.



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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.