Month: February 2016

When Growths Need To Be Removed

Lumps and bumps can occur anywhere on the body. They can be any shape, size, or color. The only way to say for certain what the growth is made from, is to have it tested in a laboratory. This can be done with a needle aspirate (85% accurate), tissue biopsy (95% accurate), or removal with submission of the entire growth (100% accurate). We remove all types and sizes of growths daily at Helping Hands. Some people want to know what the growth is and others do not care what it is as long as it is gone from their pet. Our laboratory charges us $100 to get the growth analyzed and we pass that fee on to you if you decide you want to know.

Extra Large Growth on Dog's Side

This dog has an extra large growth on his side.

We always recommend removing growths when they are first noticed, as they tend to be small and come off much more easily which is better for your pet and your pocketbook. The smaller the growth, the less expensive it is to remove it. Even if the growth gets to be quite large, we are still happy to help you get it off your pet. Some growths can surprisingly grow quite quickly or go undetected if they are in a tricky area or your pet is very fluffy.

Extra Large Growth Rear Leg

This dog has an extra large growth near his rear leg.

Some growths are benign, which means they are not cancerous. They may continue to grow where they are but usually do not spread throughout the body and generally do not recur after removal. Cancerous growths can recur despite removal and may spread to other areas of the body. We make every attempt to get “clean margins” when we remove a growth. This means we take healthy tissue around the growth to increase the chances of getting all diseased tissue.

A growth can be larger than what is visible on the surface. It can go deep and wide under the skin beyond what can be seen on the outside, so the incision often will be larger than the growth itself. We want to remove the entire growth with a measure of healthy tissue surrounding it to be sure we get all of it.

A growth on the neck of a small dog.

A growth on the neck of a small dog.

The Importance Of Dental Care For Pets

Dental - before

Before a dental at Helping Hands

After a Dental at Helping Hands

After a Dental at Helping Hands









We all understand the importance of dental care for ourselves, and it is no different for our four-legged friends. The only real difference is the size and shape of their teeth. Their teeth have the same anatomy as ours and tartar, plaque, and dental disease occurs in the same way. We brush our teeth (supposedly) 2-3 times a day and it is still recommended we get our teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months. Kudos to you if you brush your pet’s teeth even weekly, but regardless if you brushed them daily, it would not negate the need for professional cleanings.

Anytime you or your pet eats, food deposits on and between the teeth leading to plaque build up over time. Try not brushing your teeth for a few days and you will quickly feel and taste the effects. Now imagine how your pet feels when their teeth are not brushed often. We get calls regularly from people who cannot believe what a life changing event a teeth cleaning can provide for pets who have terrible dental disease. Gone are the gum and tooth aches caused by excessive plaque and tartar buildup. Pets do not stop eating when they have a tooth ache. They do not realize they can complain and do not know how to show you they are having trouble until they are simply in so much pain they can no longer eat at all. An infected mouth can lead to infections elsewhere in the body. Proper dental care can and will extend and improve your pet’s quality of life. In addition to the benefits of clean teeth, a dental exam can help identify growths that will need to be removed.


Oral Growth Found After Pet Dental  Exam

Oral Growth Found After Pet Dental Exam

We know that you’d rather be kissed by a clean and stink-free mouth, so be sure that your pet receives the preventative dental care it deserves. Do not wait until it is medically needed. We hope our low fees will allow you to help your pet get preventative dental care and enjoy a healthy clean mouth.

Welcome to the New Helping Hands Blog!

We are excited to launch the New Helping Hands Blog!  We look forward to bringing you behind the scenes at Helping Hands, with education from our doctors, inspiring pet stories, information on the Richmond area, and much more exciting information.  As we embark on this venture and spend time getting comfortable in our new building, we would also like to reflect on those that helped us get to this stage at Helping Hands.  For example, Thor, who we lost too soon, will grace the home page of our blog.  While Thor was used to spending his time beside various growths that Dr. Lori would remove from pets, we think he is now deserving of the spotlight.  He is a reminder of how much pets mean to us and to enjoy every moment during their relatively short lives.