german shepherdQ:  My dog is 11 and developed a large hard mass on rear leg. It has moved over and down. Vet says there is concern but has to remove mass starting at 800 dollars. He is not showing any behavior changes. He yelps when he lays on it. Advice on leaving it verses removal or other options. It is just smaller than a golf ball. Thank you in advance. He is a German Shepard and lab mix.

A:    I am sorry to hear about the tumor.  You should really start with a biopsy.  This can be done with just local anesthetic on most dogs and should cost in the range of $250-300.  This will tell you how important it is to remove the mass.  I would need to see the mass in order to determine how much it would cost to remove it.  We usually do mass removals in conjunction with something else that needs to be done under anesthesia (teeth cleaning for example) – this saves you money and saves your dog stress.  Let us know if we can help!  -Dr. Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP