Out of the blue, Cookie grew a lump on her belly.
I'm not saying it popped-up over night, but it as well might have. Cookie's belly almost always has somebody's hands on it. One of those hands would have to have felt it.
After our evening walk, there is always a lot of petting and rubbing going on. There is always a lot of petting and rubbing going on. As I ran my hand over her stomach, I felt a lump. I don't know anybody who doesn't hate finding lumps or bumps on their dog. I was not happy about that.
We examined it and didn't like it the least bit.
So it happened that this was the night just before we were leaving town so we couldn't make an appointment with our vet. The only thing we could do was to make an appointment with a local vet at our destination, and that's what we did. The plan was to have it aspirated to find out what it was.
Hubby drove Cookie to the appointment while I stayed home with JD. JD doesn't like being alone, and all of us in a small exam room just complicates things. Unless we feel that I really have to be present, hubby is the one who drives the patient, and the rest of us stay at home. This problem seemed straightforward enough.
The vet looked and sounded seasoned and competent.
Hubby had a good feeling about her. She examined Cookie and advised against cytology. "It's going to take two weeks to get the results, and I don't like this lump the least bit," she said. She strongly recommended making an appointment for removal instead.
We discussed it all and decided to go with the advice.
The vet didn't like the location - neither did I. The vet didn't like that it seemed highly proliferative (growing fast) - neither did I.
We had a long phone discussion on the issue of clear margins. The ideal process is to identify the lump, then treat/remove it. That way you know how much extra tissue you need or don't need to remove.
We decided to treat it as cancerous and remove enough.While I didn't like the idea of cutting out a bunch of healthy tissue, it was the better strategy under circumstances.
The morning of the surgery, hubby drove fasted Cookie to the hospital.
And then I got the confusing phone call.
"I examined Cookie once again, and it turns out it's just a fat pad. It is symmetrical to the other side. So we are not doing any surgery today."
I mean I was happy to hear that. Or, more accurately, I would be happy to hear that if it made any sense. What we found could by no means be a fat pad, nor it was symmetrical to anything. It was a single lump.
Are we talking about the same lump???
I don't know what exactly the vet found when she was examining Cookie but I was starting to get a good idea she did not find what was the reason for the visit in the first place! I got her to go back and take another look, this time searching for the actual lump that was on Cookie's belly.
"Oh, this one."
The vet finally found the lump in question. "Oh, this one doesn't look good, it seems highly proliferative; it needs to come out."
So Cookie did have surgery after all, but now with my faith in the vet seriously damaged. Fortunately, the surgery was done well. I'm gonna leave the fact that Cookie was sent home with zero pain management alone for the purpose of this article. We worked that out with the help of Jasmine's vet and the fact I still had some Deramaxx on hand.
You know how people who are going to have an amputation have somebody write "Not this one" all over the healthy limb? Tough luck that both legs or arms look the same, huh?
How does one find a non-existing lump while missing one that is right in their face?
All is well what ends well, I suppose. The lump was removed. It turned out to have been a benign histiocytoma. Knowing that, could we have left it alone? Perhaps, perhaps not. According to the pathology report it was already ulcerating. So it was just as well that it got cut out. Cookie got through the ordeal without complications. But still ... seriously?
See Something, Do Something: Cookie's Lumpectomy
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit?
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely?
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?
Happy Birthday, Cookie
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was"
Living with an Incontinent Dog
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy and Chiropractic
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog
Cookie's New Injury Update
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications
Would I Ever Treat a Symptom Directly?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment for Cookie's Bad Knee(s)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Cookie's Bad Cruciate Update
Injury or Surgery Recovery: Mishaps versus Setbacks
See Something, Do Something: Cookie's Lumpectomy
Cookie's Lumpectomy Update
Using Pressure Pads to Evaluate Lameness in Dogs: My Observations
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: What Supplements Am I Using?
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: Restricted Activity and Weight Management
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear: Update
Has Your Dog's Physical Therapist Taken Dog Training Classes?
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate (CCL/ACL) Tear Update and Considering the Future
Still Confused About Cookie's Incontinence
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