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My Dog Has A Growing Breast Tumor

Updated on January 17, 2013

My Beagle, Molly


Mammary or Breast Tumors in Dogs

I have a beautiful beagle named Molly, that is now at least 10 1/2 years old. I don't know for sure her exact age, as we got her from a shelter many years ago. This age is based off of what they told us.

Right after Thanksgiving of this year, my dog began to have a lump on her belly, or abdomen. I didn't know what it was, and didn't think too much of it because she was happy as ever, and didn't seem remotely bothered by it.

Many people told us things like, "oh dogs get lumps in their old age, and they get them all over and all the time," etc. I had heard that before, but it was reassuring. I began to get more concerned after a friend of mine told me she had just had to put their dog down for what started as a fatty tumor.

Molly's tumor has continued to grow, even though it causes her no pain and she is eating and acting normal. I wish I could say we had a lot of money to spend on dogs, but we do not. It is even one thing toward the beginning of their lives, but at the end you have to think of everything. Molly hates the veterinarian as well, and is a high anxiety dog, you could say.

Well, the day she wouldn't jump up onto my bed or couch, I began to be concerned and we took the plunge.

I told the veterinarian my situation before I went in, and they wanted to do a cytology test on the lump. It would involve taking out some cells from the lump to determine more. They told me that without this test, they couldn't give me any further advice. Even now, I wish I had learned more from this test, but I did not. With that and exam, it was 100.00, and all I found out was that I would need to spend another 6-800 dollars on a removal of the tumor. Even then, we would have to make more decisions if it was malignant. This was all very much to think about.

She offered to me to get some antibiotics for 40-50 more dollars, and some pain pills for 30 or so dollars. No problem if you have a lot of money and don't have other humans in the house that need to go to the doctor and have procedures but do not due to money. Still, this is my molly, and I did get her the pain pills in case things get harder on down the road. She isn't the best pill taker, and the doctor didn't even know if she had any infection or not, so I am holding off on the antibiotics for now. They might have helped with inflammation if due to infection, and the pain pills might as well.

During the test, my dog did great, I was told. She looks to be in excellent condition in every other way, which was so great to hear. My sweet Molly may have cancer, or at the very least a fast growing tumor. I am writing this now to share our experience, and have written about Molly in the past. I have so enjoyed my sweet Molly, and hate to see her in any pain or having problems. Thankfully, we are not there yet.

After thinking some things over, I decided to call back and the doctor was kind enough to give me a call back to answer any more questions I had, which she did. Like why didn't they take a biopsy, and is the only method just removal? Is there nothing in between? Turns out it costs as much as a removal of the tumor, only you may have to then go and remove the tumor also which gets even more expensive if saving money is something you are hoping to do.

Natural and Herbal Remedies- Any Possibilities?

This might not be the best thing to ask a veterinarian, but I did ask if there was anything natural I could do for Molly's breast tumor. She said no, there is nothing. I did ask, because we have taken the natural route before, when we lived in Texas and Molly barely survived being poisoned almost to death. She had gotten into something, they think something illegal that comes from Mexico or something, and she nearly bled to death, and it nearly destroyed her organs. She survived, after much effort and prayers by us all. I mention that all here, because one of the things we were to do as she recovered, was to get some milk thistle to help heal her liver. It really really seemed to help her, and she survived! So never again will I mock herbs, after we have benefited from them in this way and many more. (Ok, I never mocked herbs, but some people do!)

At any rate, this is where we are at in our journey with my beagle, Molly. It is hard on the heart, when you love your dog, as many of you reading this will know. My hope is to share my experience, and perhaps hear from others in their own experiences. Whether something similar or not, I am curious to know how you dealt with hard times with a pet that you love.

For now, I continue to be so thankful for my sweet dog Molly. I will try to post some more recent pictures of her, as she has gotten a little bit older than these ones show. I treasure every moment, and she is getting lots of treats, petting, spoiling, and walks. Those are her favorite things.

Poll about Masses and Lumps in Pets

Has your pet ever experienced any kind of mass or lump that seemed to be a tumor of some kind?

See results


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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Steve, oh my, I am so sorry to hear that! I think my vet might recommend taking her in to get some help immediately, if you are able. I was concerned that my dog would get to that point, but I eventually got her tumor removed. I hope things get better very soon.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My 11 year old female beagle acts normal except the tumor the size of a softball. Its now bloody and she started spitting blood today.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you to all that commented, this all means so much to me, I can't even tell you. It brings tears to my eyes, but it is true that we love her and she loves us. The growth keeps getting bigger, but the good news is I did find some Cat's claw today. She took it very well with peanut butter, and thought she was getting quite the treat!

      Thank you again so much, everyone. It means so much to me and to Molly.

    • Austinstar profile image


      6 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      My dog, Chico developed masses. As he was 10+ years old, I knew that to put him through surgeries and chemotherapy would just make his remaining years miserable and he wouldn't he happy with the treatment. I loved that dog just as much as my child, but I would not let him suffer. When he got to the point of not being able to eat and drink (he began to vomit every time), I knew it was time to let him go.

      The tumors don't cause pain, so know that as long as Molly seems to be happy, then just accept that happiness and give her treats. She loves you and the life you have given her.

      If she starts to suffer, let her go and be grateful for all the smiles she gave you and know that you made her happy too.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      oh what a precious puppy.. I am crying for your pet.. thank you for sharing this it can help others in the situation


    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I am such a dog lover and your story just breaks my heart! It's so hard to know what to do when you are faced with a problem like this one. I wish I knew of a magic "get well" potion to tell you about, but I don't. I can only sympathize and hope Molly improves quickly.

      My best wishes to you and Molly, Mary

    • PhoenixV profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Larger dogs rarely live longer than 10 years. I think the maximum a Beagles life span if completely healthy throughout is 13 or 15 years on average. From what you have said, it sounds like Molly was extremely lucky to have lived this long and you must have cared for her very well. I don't think it's a question of money, because no amount of money or surgeries can prolong her life. At this point, in my opinion, surgery would probably just make her really uncomfortable during her time left. If she was a healthy 2 -5, or so , year old dog, that could recover and have a good life of considerable time, medical intervention would make sense. There are no wrong answers really. You love her and that is all that matters.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Cats claw is a Peruvian immunostimulant. You should be able to get it at any store that sells herbal medicines for humans. It supposedly shrinks or slows growth of tumors (but will not make it go away, of course), and also is an antioxidant.

      I see a lot of breast cancer in dogs as they are rarely spayed where I live. I cannot remember the percentages from the US but it is rarely malignant, so just keep taking care of Molly like part of your family and do not worry that you are not able to afford that treatment.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Wow, thank you so very much for your answer. I will need to find out where to get cat's claw, as I do very much want to slow down the growth of this tumor. She is such a happy dog, and seems so healthy in every other way, but I feel very sure this will take her before long. I know I can't afford the almost 1k for what she needs just initially, then after that considering treatment for cancer, etc if malignant.

      I LOVE the idea of anything that might help. Do you know how cat's claw helps exactly? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I will have a look, thanks. I might take you up on mailing you with questions I have on this. It is really tough to go through.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      If you go to my profile page you can find an article I wrote on natural/alternative therapies for cancer in dogs. Cats claw is your best option with mammary cancer.

      If it is any help at all, most cases of mammary cancer in dogs are benign and not even much of a problem until the tumor grows large and breaks open. Molly will probably be okay for a long time but the cats claw may keep the tumor from growing.

      Once it does break open, it is very important to keep it from getting dirty and infected. If you can get Molly used to wearing an old t-shirt now it will be a lot less stressful on her when the tumor is opening.

      Best of luck. Mail me if you have any questions I can help you with.


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