Vida - Blog

Vida goes above and beyond to help Mama Bear and her mammary gland tumor.

Meet Mama Oso (Mama Bear) an older dog who was rescued along with her four puppies from a house where she was no longer

wanted and has had several litters of puppies. All of her puppies have been adopted and now it was time for Mama Bear to be spayed.  When she arrived at the IVTC, the Vida vet identified a mammary gland tumor.

These tumors are common in intact female dogs older than 7 years of age. Hormonal influences have been found to be involved in their development; therefore, spaying can largely reduce the risk of developing this type of cancer, especially if the dog is spayed before it has gone into heat.

There are many different types of mammary tumors that behave differently. About 50% of mammary tumors are malignant (invasive to surrounding tissue with a high risk of spreading) and 50% are benign. Biopsy is the only way to determine whether a tumor is benign or malignant.

Surgery is the treatment of choice for all dogs with mammary gland tumors, which lucky for Mama Oso, Vida IVTC was able remove her tumor when she came in for her spay. Spaying at the time of removal may enhance survival as it decreases the possibility of recurrence. However, this possibility decreases with age. If the tumor has not spread, there is a good chance that surgery may be curative. X-rays of the chest and ultrasound of the abdomen are useful in detecting metastasis. 

The prognosis and course the disease will take depends on whether the tumor is benign or malignant, as well as its size, and the presence or absence of metastasis. In Mama Oso´s case, we were unable to perform the necessary diagnostic exams, so we are unable to provide her with a prognosis.  Spaying and removing the tumor was her best chance to give her much more time with her future adoptive family,which she is patiently awaiting – if you know anyone.   

Early spaying is the best method for prevention of this form of cancer.    

-IVTC Team