It is a simple fact that nearly all lines of Rhodesian Ridgebacks are prone to developing "Lumps and Bumps" as they grow older. The majority of these will prove to be benign. Simple fatty tumors. While possibly distressing to an unaware owner, they are thought to be a side result of the blending of so many breeds when the Ridgeback was created. For the most part they generally begin to show up between 5 and 7 years.
These are lipomas on a nearly 13 year old bitch, had grown slowly over approximately 3 years. They present as a reasonably soft and rounded mass, untethered to muscle or bone. When palpated they have a smooth surface. In our experience, and that of our vet, 98% of these are simple fatty tumors. Removing them is a matter of aesthetics for the owner , since most are ignored by the host animal. While they do not recurred the same location , it is not uncommon to find they reoccur in a nearby area. Left alone they are harmless, unless positioned in a manner to create pressure on a nerve or possibly block a vital organ or orifice. It is strongly recommended that the mass be needle biopsied AFTER an injection of Benadryl has been administered. The thinking being, the histimic release of cells from the tumor into the body will be better controlled when the tumor surface is broken by the needle for biopsy by the use of a bolus of a good anti histiamine. Even though the majority are benign, you should still have them tested. The vet will aspirate cells and send them off to be identified and graded. Should the tumor prove to be malignant there are many treatments available.
An important note , if you wish to greatly reduce the chance of your dog developing tumors of any kind, it is highly reccommended that you feed your dog either a B A R F diet or at the least one very limited in the Hot Carbs thought to promote the growth of tumors of all kinds. Hot Carbs are Corn, Wheat, Soy and White Rice. ( Brown rice is only marginally cooler) . Cool Carbs would be Potato, Sweet Potato, Barley and Oatmeal. They provide needed fiber while not feeding tumor growth. We also add Turmeric, Vits E and the Omegas to our dog's diets. Below are two siblings, they are 13 years old. One was kept on the very best of Kibbles which like most have the hot carbs, He has been operated on off and on for years until he was returned to us due to the owner's change in circumstances. He began developing lumps an bumps around 5 years old . This is him today.....
To avoid any difficulties with his former owner I will refrain from using his name. But he is an awesome and loving boy and we feel fortunate to have him back in our home and pack!
Here is his sister, Mtzee who has always lived with us. after finishing her Championship she was bred twice giving us some incrediably beautiful puppies, she is now a Grandmother! Mtz was nearly always on the No Hot Carb Diet. At nearly 13 even thoough a full litter mate to the boy above she has two very, very tiny bumps on her right rear "knee" that developed in the past 18 months. ( She was not amused to be taken out front for a photo when it had just begun to drizzle hence the rolled back ears..... lol... the eyes in our banner above belong to Mtzee, she is CH Bwana's It Take's A Thief CGC, TDI .
The boy below is yet another 9 year dog who was fed a RAW diet but one with all the Hot Carbs included. He has a younger, by a year, pack member with zero bumps who happened to be allergic to corn and or wheat , apparently breaking out in hives when he ate them. So he was fed a grain free diet kibble for convienence. Same Lines just diffferent litters, same parents , same owners, same home, same environments. Makes it difficult to think that diet does not have a very big impact on the growth of lumps and bumps doesn't it?
The Tumor you see both above and below was thought to be a MCT ( Mast Cell Tumor) this dog had one approx. 2 years prior in the same location. Upon excision we had the owners send it off and it came back as cancer free, however the abraded and scabby appearance was caused by his continual washing of the area. The scar tissue never fully healed, allowing him to eventually create this sore. We had the owners bring him home to "Grandma's" where I felt I could better manage it for them. ( They both work outside the home making supervision difficult!) The small mass and the surrounding keloid scaring was removed and he was then guarded day and night for nearly a month to protect the area, allowing it to heal cleanly.
The area is now clean , scar free and fine.
A more dramatic version of tumors can be seen below, The Fatty Tumor seen just behind this boy's elbow is very large. Nearly the size of a Naval Orange. Removing it would reduce the size and appearance but in this 12 year old male it would greatly risk his life. Some of these tumors are slow growing. Others are scary fast. Rather than rush to surgey ALWAYS determine why? Is the dog in pain? Is the tumor restricting movement? Is it causing pain? Blocking an important orafice, or pressing on a nerve? Or is it simply less attractive than the glorious puppy you played with, you cuddled, housebroke and thought would never stop eating your favorite slippers ? Sadly "stuff " happens in life. The True Love, the Heros ... they figure out how to deal with it. IT would be a crap shoot to expose this boy to enough surgery to remove the tumor. It isn't hurting him, ( but he could easily die on the table. Anesthesia is ALWAYS a Crap shoot). Each owner must decide. Did he deserve to be risked because he was no longer the thing of beauty you invested in over a decade ago? Do YOU deserve all of HIS love , even though YOU are no longer the same skinney young owner who ,maybe made more money, had energy and more hair ? He doesn't care, He still adores you...
After saying that look long and hard at the post surgical site below? This dog had a 10 inch diameter, 2.5 pound tumor removed. Thought to be totally benign, but positioned in a manner that it compromised the nerves in his hip and leg. He would end up unable to walk. And having to be medicated to minimize pain. His owners invested in the surgical proceadure to remove the mass hoping to improve the quality of his life. It came back from the lab as a malignant cancer. However by having the surgery he and his family will have more time together. He can push their buttons , pull their strings and everyone involved will love it. Why? Because...... it is......... more time together. Everything ends. But sometimes knowing you gave it your all ..... is the only way you can handle the pain. As long as they don't hurt WE can better deal wth the loss.
EVERY Breed has issues...... Bulldogs can't take the heat that one is obvious even when a fan is looking at adorable puppies, however not as obvious the Breed has over 52 GENETIC Illnesses that any Bulldog puppy may end up with. Nearly all Fatal or Debilitating. They can not breed naturally or deliver safely..... Terriers are Intense, Prey Driven and yes they have issues as well....... EVERY BREED HAS ISSUES. If the worst thing that happens to your RR is they get lumpy and bumpy as they age count yourself prepared and lucky. Number ONE Killer of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the AUTOMOBILE!