spayed

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It’s probably tumor of the mammary gland. See a vet as soon as possible. If your dog is in good condition there is a chance of surgical treatment.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

What causes mammary tumors in dogs? Mammary tumors develop because of spikes in female hormone (estrogens) that take place during a dog`s heat cycle. By spaying a dog at 6 months of age or before the first heat cycle, it virtually eliminates the risk of getting mammary tumors, which starts at only about 0.5%.
The size of the mass(es) and their appearance may vary, but they are usually firm and nodular. Occasionally, the skin over the mass may ulcerate (open) and bleed, and the affected area may feel warm to the touch and become painful. The mammary gland may even produce a discharge.
It could appear as a hard or soft lump in the mammary gland area. At first, it will be covered with skin and hair. If advanced it could burst and look like an abscess . It is important for every owner of a female dog check out mammary area for lumps regularly since this is a frequently occurring cancer in canines.
If you are petting your dog and you notice a lump along the mammary chain, please have your vet examine her. In intact female dogs you may notice lumps that come and go after the heat cycle. These are typically due to mammary gland hyperplasia (proliferation of normal mammary tissue).
Approximately 45% of mammary tumors are malignant in dogs, whereas ~90% are malignant in cats, and dogs have a much higher number of complex and mixed tumors than do cats.
Mast cell tumors are quite serious when identified in dogs. If untreated they can cause anaphylactic shock or if they progress into a more aggressive form they can metastasize and ultimately lead to death.
Some benign tumors may never change, remaining small and benign over time. Other benign mammary tumors may progress, become malignant, and develop new tumors in new locations in the mammary chain.
Clinically, mammary tumors appear as single or multiple nodules in the parenchyma, with or without the involvement of nipples. They can be located in any of the eight glands, and benign and malignant forms can coexist.
Cancerous or malignant tumors can be hard or soft. The feel of a mass and whether it bothers your dog has little to do with whether it is cancerous or not.
Studies show that even though breast cancer happens more often now than it did in the past, it doesn`t grow any faster than it did decades ago. On average, breast cancers double in size every 180 days, or about every 6 months. Still, the rate of growth for any specific cancer will depend on many factors.
Adding supplements for mammary tumors in dogs, such as medicinal mushrooms, curcumin, CoQ10 and fish oil, can support your dog`s immune system and overall well-being. Feeding a low carbohydrate cancer diet rich in omega-3s and fresh nutrients can also help.
The gold-star treatment for mammary tumors is surgery. In most cases, the surgeon will remove the tumor itself or the entire affected mammary gland. It is uncommon to remove the entire mammary chain in dogs. Surgery usually is not recommended with inflammatory or metastatic cancer.
The average survival time for dogs diagnosed with a malignant mammary tumor is variable, depending on the type (sarcoma vs. carcinoma), stage, spread of the tumor, degree of invasiveness, and grade. It can range from 1 month to almost 2 years but depends on the dog`s diagnosis.
Benign tumors can be easily removed and not negatively affect life expectancy. Dogs with malignant tumors may live as little as one month or as long as one year or more without treatment. Half of malignant tumors reoccur or spread to other organs. This leads to illness and a life expectancy of up to 1-2 years.
Most dogs with low-grade mast cell tumors are able to live to their normal life expectancy once the tumor is gone. Dogs with high-grade tumors have a much higher risk of the tumor spreading to other organs in the body, which makes the cancer more difficult to treat.
Mammary tumors can be a single tumor located at one nipple or they may be found as a chain of tumors, running along the mammary glands. If a mammary tumor grows large, it can ulcerate (open and bleed) and in severe cases, may rupture and cause significant pain and discomfort.
If surgery to remove the cancer is not possible, it is called inoperable. The doctor will then recommend treating the cancer in other ways. Chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and/or hormonal therapy may be given to shrink the cancer.
If treatment does not occur, breast cancer will usually spread to other areas of the body (metastasize). Very often the first area that cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the underarm area (the axilla). Once cancer enters the lymphatic system, it can and usually does spread to other areas of the body.
An injection of calcium chloride solution has been shown to reduce the size of benign tumors in dogs.
A non-cancerous (benign) tumour of the breast is a growth that does not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Non-cancerous tumours are not usually life-threatening. They are typically removed with surgery and do not usually come back (recur). The following are non-cancerous tumours of the breast.
If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 86%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is 30%. The relative survival rate for breast cancer is 9% lower in Black women compared to White women.
They may grow quickly, over the course of a few weeks. More commonly they grow slowly over months or years. In advanced cases, the skin overlying the tumor can ulcerate or break open. This leaves dogs susceptible to pain and infection.
The last few days before your dog passes you may notice: extreme weight loss, a distant look in their eyes, a lack of interest in anything, restlessness or unusual stillness, a change in the way that your dog smells, and a changed temperament.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I have a small dog, half Feist mainly a mutt. She is a least 15 years old and has developed a baseball size lump in her tit area. Never been spayed
ANSWER : A. It’s probably tumor of the mammary gland. See a vet as soon as possible. If your dog is in good condition there is a chance of surgical treatment.

Read Full Q/A … : Pet Pick-Me-Ups – Pinterest

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. My cocker spaniel is 9 years old. He has involuntary bowel movements (little drops) very frequently, especially when he is asleep.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog on a senior dog food? I would get your dog on a high quality high protien dog food. Ask a pet store assosicate or your regular vet for a food recommendation. When you buy a better food the dog will have to eat less to get the same amount of energy from the food. The dog has to eat more of the cheaper foods to get the energy it needs from it. Meaning more poop and buying more food. So the cost really evens out. So the lessen your dogs bowel movements get on a better senior dog food. Next talk to your vet they may have a recommendation. If you switch dogs do it slowly by mixing the foods. Start with 10% new 90% old mixed for at least a week until you have switched to 100% new 0% old. Senior foods have more fiber to help with bowel movements. Take the dog outside to go potty more frequently, right before bed time.

Read Full Q/A … : Symptoms Questions & Answers

Q. My 4 yr old male Catahoula Leopard Dog mix is a rescue. He’s become very possessive of me around larger dogs. How can I correct this behavior?
ANSWER : A. Sudden behavior changes can sometimes indicate an underlying health issue, so scheduling a checkup with your regular vet is always the first step. Once any health issues have been addressed, then you can address the behavioral ones. It is very common for dogs to become “possessive” of people or objects when around other dogs or people, and is called location guarding. Possession of objects or places can be a little easier to manage, however possession around other dogs can be treated as well. Working from a distance in a technique called BAT or Behavioral Adjustment Training may help. This technique involves your dog and another calm dog. Start off at a far distance and then move in until your dog becomes reactive or wary of the other dog. Move back a small amount and wait for your dog to become calm. If he shows calm behavior, reward with lots of praise, treats and love! If he becomes agitated or possessive, move back until he is calm, or stop the session completely and try again later. While this may take some time, it can help dogs learn that other dogs are not a threat to them or their people. Reading more information about BAT training or contacting a local trainer in your area can help with further advice and techniques!

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. I have a 10 year old mutt who is hyper but doesn’t like hyper dogs. Getting another dog from a shelter soon any ideas on calm breeds?
ANSWER : A. If your dog is uncomfortable with other dogs (of any sort), it is important that you bring your current dog to the shelter so he can meet the dog you plan to adopt. You should check out your local shelter, and walk around looking at all of the dogs. Mixed breeds have mixed amounts of energy and it’s tough to recommend a breed. I suppose I would say calm breeds would be the Great Pyrenees, the Newfoundland, the Bernese Mountain dog CAN be a calm breed.. really with any breed you will have mixed litters. Many breeders breed specifically the “calm” Newfies, or the “hyper” Bernese. If you are going to adopt from a shelter however, it’s impossible to expect that level of breeding.

As I said, just be sure you bring your dog along so you can slowly introduce the dogs. If your dog is uncomfortable, immediately separate them, and try again in a couple of minutes. You don’t want to force them to get along, and you don’t want to move too quickly when introducing them.

Q. My dog has no fleas, but is scratching and licking continually. He has been through a round of prednisone and it hasn’t helped. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. Itching can be caused by more than just external parasites, and if your dog is already on a flea medication, then it is possibly not the case. Itching can indicate anything from allergies to even minor skin infections causing problems. If your dog has been treated with prednisone (a steroid that inhibits the immune system) and it did not help, then looking at other options may help.

Food allergies are very common in dogs and can present with itching and licking all over the body rather than on just one spot. Common food allergens include ingredients such as wheat, corn and soy products, however dogs can be allergic to almost anything! Starting a food trial of an allergen-friendly diet from your vet or pet store that avoids these common ingredients may help. The food should be switched over a period of 7-9 days and then given about a month to decide if it is helping.

Small skin infections or yeast in the skin can also cause itching, however this itching is often more specific to a certain area of the body (such as the toes, or base of the tail). Your vet can perform a skin scraping of the area to be cultured at a lab to look for any yeast or bacteria. If they are present, a medication given either orally or placed on the affected area can clear up the infection.

In some cases, licking and chewing can actually be due to a boredom or anxiety behavior. Dogs may lick one spot obsessively to the point of creating sores or wounds in the area. Stopping your dog from licking and chewing either through the use of dog booties, no lick strips, T-shirts or even Elizabethan collars can break the habit and give the area time to heal. Licking and chewing can also cause the spread of bacterial infections so should be deterred even if not behaviorally caused.