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My 13 year old male basset has a tumor on the base of his back, close to his tail. The vet thinks it is benign. It began to bleed last week and we took him to the vet. They referred us to a veterinary surgeon who we saw today. He said the tumor is infected and the best way to remove it is through a tail amputation. This past week his stomach has looked bloated although he is eating enthusiastically, and drinking. Twice this week he urinated without realizing he was doing it, but has been holding it through the night until he is let out in the morning. He has been very lethargic, and can not get up the stairs. He has been having trouble with the stairs the last few months but today could not even lift his front legs on the step. At his annual check up last month they did a full blood workup and said it looked really good for a dog his age.

I would appreciate the opinions of those of you who have experience with elderly bassets. Do I put him through this surgery? I asked the surgeon this, and he said without running a battery of costly tests, which would lead to more tests, we know the tumor is a problem so it should be removed. If there are other things going on we can deal with them later. At this point the cost is not the issue, but making the best decision for Murphy is my main priority. Do I put him through this at his age?
 

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imho IT IS ALL about quality of life. if he has no other serious health issue it will improve his quality of life having it removed.
 

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Surgery for 13 year old Basset

Thank you for your response. I agree that it is his quality of life that matters and that is foremost in my mind.
 

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My 13 year old male basset has a tumor on the base of his back, close to his tail. The vet thinks it is benign. It began to bleed last week and we took him to the vet. They referred us to a veterinary surgeon who we saw today. He said the tumor is infected and the best way to remove it is through a tail amputation. This past week his stomach has looked bloated although he is eating enthusiastically, and drinking. Twice this week he urinated without realizing he was doing it, but has been holding it through the night until he is let out in the morning. He has been very lethargic, and can not get up the stairs. He has been having trouble with the stairs the last few months but today could not even lift his front legs on the step. At his annual check up last month they did a full blood workup and said it looked really good for a dog his age.

I would appreciate the opinions of those of you who have experience with elderly bassets. Do I put him through this surgery? I asked the surgeon this, and he said without running a battery of costly tests, which would lead to more tests, we know the tumor is a problem so it should be removed. If there are other things going on we can deal with them later. At this point the cost is not the issue, but making the best decision for Murphy is my main priority. Do I put him through this at his age?
Much as age alone isn't a decider, my gut instinct is NO! Especially not until you know the mass is malignant and a simple fine needle aspiration should tell your vet that. My current Basset had a mass near his tail set on, and my then vet felt it would be best coming off which we had done - no need to take the whole tail!! This is a difficult one, but at his age, I'd really not be happy to put him through the surgery, anaesthetic and recovery. If he has other things going on, why not let him live through whatever time he has left, without the extra stress.

Obviously if the mass is leaking, he may need antibiotics and re his incontinence, there is treatment to help with this too.

For the stair situation - ramp? He could possibly have arthritis which will be better at times (dry warm days) than others (damp cold days). But again there is treatment to control pain.

Again, for me too, it's all about quality of life and when his down days start to outnumber his up days, then it's getting close to the time to help him over the final hurdle. For me.
 
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