Tag Archives: lumps

That spot on Izzy’s muzzle

At a social walk yesterday, quite a few of our friends noticed the purple stitches in Izzy’s muzzle.  She had a lump removed a little over a week ago (her stitches come out on Monday).

Everyone needs to understand that lumps cannot be diagnosed by the naked eye.  Without a biopsy, you can never be sure about the type of cells that are growing there.

In Izzy’s case, the spot on her nose opened up and bled like crazy and, by the following morning, had totally disappeared again.  Bleeding concerns me – hence the reason we went off to the vet.

Izzy's nose

The testing has come back and it’s good news.  The spot was a hemangioma, a benign growth that is related to sun damage.

With the spring and summer on their way, I’ve made a promise to both of us that I will be much more diligent in applying sunscreen to her muzzle each and every day.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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See something, do something

Dr Sue Ettinger is on a mission to help pet owners detect tumors early.  Her inspiration for this new program, called See Something, Do Something, was a 10-year old white pit bull named Smokey.

Smokey

Smokey

Dr Ettinger had aspirated approximately 10 masses from Smokey over the years and all came back as benign; so she wasn’t particularly worried when Smokey presented with another lump.  The clinic was so busy on the day he came in with his vet tech owner, that he never got tested that day and waited another week before returning to the clinic.

When it was aspirated, it wasn’t a lipoma and testing revealed a soft tissue sarcoma.  It hadn’t spread to other parts of the body, but a 7 cm mass with 3 cm margins was a very big surgery; they got it all and so Smokey was out of the woods.

But Dr Ettinger combed through literature to find out if there were guidelines for vets and owners about diagnosing lumps and bumps.  There weren’t and she decided to take action.

So she’s come up with:

See Something?  If a dog or cat has had a lump that is larger than a pea and has been there for more than a month…

Do Something! Go to a vet and get it aspirated or biopsied.

and even a shorter call to action:  Why Wait? Aspirate!

Simple rules that could save the life of your pet and also avoid needless pain and suffering.

Sue Ettinger is one of approximately 300 board-certified veterinary specialists in medical oncology in North America. Dr Sue is a staff oncologist and initiated the medical oncology service at the Animal Specialty Center (ASC), a private practice specialty hospital in Westchester, just north of New York City.

Sue Ettinger is one of approximately 300 board-certified veterinary specialists in medical oncology in North America. Dr Sue is a staff oncologist and initiated the medical oncology service at the Animal Specialty Center (ASC), a private practice specialty hospital in Westchester, just north of New York City

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Teaching others the benefits of dog massage

Last weekend, I held my first dog massage workshops in five years.  These half-day workshops cover my own 12-step relaxation massage sequence for dogs along with the basics of gait analysis, senior dog care and keeping records on lumps and bumps.

Today, I received this text:

“Hi, Coffee and I came to your massage class last weekend and, when we were doing hands on, I noticed a golf-ball sized lump on her.  I took her to the vet and they have operated and removed it, so just wanted to say thanks as would not have come across it if it wasn’t for your class.”

I can’t wait to do more workshops on a variety of holistic dog care topics…and I am so happy that Coffee’s lump was found in time – all because of massage.

And here are some photos from the weekend:

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Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 out of every 4 dogs develops cancer?

Cancer is a devastating  diagnosis which many owners will face (and I speak from personal experience; I’ve loved and lost 2 dogs to cancer plus provided palliative care support to other dogs diagnosed with the disease).

The month of May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month.

Like humans, dogs are subject to a higher cancer risk because of genetic and lifestyle factors.  Good nutrition, exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight are as good for our dogs as they are for us!

In this video, Dr Gerald Post of the Veterinary Oncology Center in Connecticut talks about prevention, early indicators of cancer, and diagnostic tests.

There is a growing body of research into canine cancers and new treatments are being developed and tested.  This means that treatments such as chemotherapy exist for dogs when previously nothing could be done.

If you type the word ‘cancer’ into the search box on this blog, you will see a number of articles about dogs and cancer.  I regularly read new articles about cancer and treatments because I’m interested in the subject and I want to offer my customers the best possible advice and support when working with their veterinarian and others in their dog’s healthcare team.

Please feel free to share your canine cancer story by posting to this blog – so that others can learn from your experience.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Minding the lumps and bumps

This week, I had the pleasure of working with a dog whose owner is very attentive and diligent.  She was the first owner in a long time to provide me with her dog’s ‘lump and bump’ chart.

Many dogs, particularly as they get older, develop lumps and bumps under the skin.  Noticing when a new lump appears, and getting your vet’s opinion about it, are very important.  Many lumps are not sinister and require no attention because they are benign.    Others aren’t.

Whenever I take on a new dog/client for massage and rehab therapy, I start keeping records of the dog’s muscle condition, problems areas, and lumps/bumps.   Since I see dogs on regular basis (the length between visits varies according to the dog’s condition), I can sometimes pick up changes that their owner misses.  This is yet another benefit of massage therapy!

But, for the most part, an owner should be familiar with their dog’s condition.  Through regular grooming, you will notice where your dog has lumps and bumps and know which ones have already been tested by your vet for ‘nasty’ cells.  So start with an outline of your dog’s body and record where they are.

Refer back to your chart periodically when you are bathing and grooming your dog.  If you find something that wasn’t there before, record its size and location on your chart and take your chart with you to the vet.

If you are local to the Canterbury area, we also discuss lump and bump charts and how to compile them in my dog massage workshops for owners.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand