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Two Minute Drill: Palpate Your Pets

What’s up Kaizenovators, happy Tuesday Two Minute Drill. Hannah, you may have seen her in a couple of other Two Minute Drills here at the vet in Arlington Virginia. About 10 days ago we found a soft tumor on her paw, a little bit fixed about the size of a candied-covered Almond. That brings today’s topic of conversation palpating your pets.

 

Check Your Pets Regularly 

We took Hannah the next day to get her needle biopsy done and it came back positive for mast cell cancer. I did not even know that dogs could get skin cancer, but apparently, they can. Mast cell cancer is one of the most common types of skin cancer that dogs can get. When found early it is typically curable, but when found late it becomes much more challenging as with any other cancer.

One of the things that we have done with our dogs ever since they were puppies is constantly palpating them, feeling them, squeezing them, checking under the skin, the subcutaneous tissues, and their paws just regularly. Because of that, it made it much easier to find this tumor and have it addressed. Today, Hannah will have the two middle toes of her rear left paw removed. Hopefully, there will be clean margins and therefore it’s expected to be mostly curative if not completely curative. If there are no clean margins around the excision site, then more aggressive treatment is needed, either radiation or possibly leg amputation. This is pretty serious business.

Again, I am going to encourage all of you pet owners. I don’t care if you have got a dog, a cat, a turtle, or whatever you have, make sure that you are palpating them and checking them regularly because early detection can truly save their lives. I know you can send lots of love and wishes to this beautiful baby girl. I will keep you guys posted on her progress.

That is this week’s Two Minute Drill. Have a great week.

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