It was Thursday evening. We came home from Cookie's last critter check of the day and I was petting and rubbing her when I felt a bump on her belly.
|I did not like the look of this bump at all. And neither did the vet.|
Ugh, where did the bump come from?
Could it be some kind of a bug bite? It felt quite large and not like a bug bite. But Cookie gets so many belly rubs by the two of us, as well as by her physical therapist and vet techs and everybody, somebody would have to have felt it if it was there before, wouldn't they?
To get a better look and feel I grabbed a flashlight and glasses and crawled under the hood. That's what we call it when I want to check something on her belly without having to make her to roll on her back in order to do it.
Like a mechanic, I get under and have a good view of what lies underneath.
This did not look like a bug bite I've ever seen before.
It was kind of fleshy, warty, blister type of thing. I did not like it. But here was the problem. The next day Cookie had an appointment for her physio at the other end of the world than her vet is. Making both appointments would be very difficult if not impossible. And the day after we were leaving for hubby's work.
"You gotta make a decision," hubby said.
Hmm ... what decision was the right one? A lump isn't really an emergency even though I was convinced that it popped up out of the blue. I did not want to pass on Cookie's physio. I did not want just ignore the bump either.
Maybe it IS some kind of a really weird bug bite and will be gone or at least smaller by morning ... ?
Well, it wasn't gone or smaller by morning.
And I still had to make a decision. Right or wrong, I decided to keep the physio appointment and have Cookie's physical therapist who is also a vet tech take a peek. Perhaps she will deem it a bug bite. And if not, we had appointments to continue Cookie's therapy lined up at the place we were going.
I decided to do the physio and try to combine one of Cookie's appointments with a needle aspirate once we get to where we were going.
Cookie's therapist checked it out and said that maybe it's a histiocytoma.
|The bump wasn't bothering Cookie. In fact, I don't think she new or cared it was there.|
I was hoping it was a histiocytoma too, though it was in a strange location for it.
And didn't QUITE look like one. But it kind of did.
Some further technical complications arose but a week after we found it Cookie's bump got seen. We had made the appointment for examination and fine needle aspirate.
But when the vet saw it she said she didn't like it and that she didn't want to keep it there until we might find out what it is.
Getting results of an aspirate takes about two weeks around here.
That IS rather long to find out what a bump that grew overnight is. She wanted to take it out and then wait for pathology results when it's already gone off Cookie.
The reason one should identify a bump before cutting is achieving clean margins. Without knowing what it is, you can either take enough tissue to make sure the margins are clean - but you might take way more tissue than is actually needed if the bump is harmless or, perhaps you wouldn't need to do a surgery at all ... or, you don't take out enough and your dog might end up having to have another surgery.
Because the lump was on the belly where there is plenty of skin, it was decided to take it out with margins generous for a cancerous bump to play it safe.
Perhaps Cookie was going to lose more tissue than she had to but it seemed the most reasonable decision under the circumstances.
Yesterday Cookie had her lumpectomy.
Because her last blood work was recent enough and everything looked good, she didn't need new blood work. Otherwise, pre-anesthesia blood work is a wise thing to do.
To make sure Cookie undergoes as little stress as possible, I packed our "communal" blanket for her and we arranged hubby being there with her when she starts waking up.
She wasn't at all concerned about being whisked away into the back; in fact the technician didn't have to drag her, she dragged the technician. So many things to check out, so little time.
The surgery went well and Cookie recovered from anesthesia really well.
She did need couple of hours to come to completely but after that she was all bouncy and hungry and ready to go. I was very relieved because I still had concerns since the sedation for her x-rays gone bad.
It was decided to use anesthesia instead of sedation because there is much better control which makes it that much safer. With IV and endotracheal tube in place any complications could be handled easily.
|Cookie came home bouncing and hungry. After I fed her she decided she was still tired after all.|
All went well and without a hick-up. Now it's the waiting for the pathology results.
Fortunately it should be in on Thursday. Here is hoping that the lump isn't half as naughty as it looked.
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Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips
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What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?
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