Yesterday was a long day for me and my BFF (best furry friend) Annie. The tiny nodule on the edge of her right ear might be more than an innocuous bump, said the vet. So 24 hours later, yesterday morning, Annie was checked in at the vet hospital to have the nodule excised. If it was benign (a histiocytoma), just a small snip; if malignant (a mast cell tumor), a significant chunk of her ear, a 2-cm radius around the lump.
We girls always worry about our looks, and ears are a very prominent part of of golden lab’s appearance. So I fretted terribly the night before and took what might be the last pictures of her with “full flaps,” kicking myself for not having taken more all along.
The vet felt reasonably sure the tissue, under the microscope, looked benign, so she only took a tiny snip. But we are awaiting the pathology report from CSU for confirmation. That will take about two weeks. If it turns out to be malignant, we’ll have to repeat the entire procedure and the “cookie monster” will have his way with Annie’s ear.
So far, so good. I had a very unhappy pooch on my hands last night. She was groggy, and had had nothing to eat or drink for about 24 hours. Her ear had been partially shaved and had three tiny stitches in its ragged-looking edge. A band on her leg had been shaved for the anesthesia IV. Her teeth had been cleaned, so her mouth might have been a little sore. And her throat might have been sore from the ventilation tube. But worst of all, she had a huge plastic abomination fastened around her head.
She was inconsolable. Every exhalation was a moan, a whimper, a grumble of supreme exasperation. I was beside myself at first, not sure if she was in pain or just wanting attention. A pain pill didn’t seem to make any difference. By bedtime, exhausted, I’d concluded all the vocalizing was just her expressing extreme discontent with the situation. If I was petting her or talking to her, she was quiet. But she made her displeasure with the management very apparent. I felt like a worm.
Today there have been no complaints. She’s eaten a tiny bit and had some water. And she’s learning to get around with that damnable cone. I still don’t know how she manages to get into her crate with it, but she does, and seems content that she can retire to her “den” at will.
The stitches come out in 10-14 days, and the cone is supposed to stay on for the duration, unless I am absolutely confident that she won’t scratch at the ear. And after all I’ve read and been told about how badly a dog’s ear bleeds, the cone will probably have become a permanent part of her anatomy by the time I try taking it off.
Cross your fingers that we don’t have to do this all over again in two weeks, because if we do, Annie is sure to report me to the ASPCA.
March 2: The vet called today with the path report. The lump was a benign histiocytoma. The stitches come out Monday and there will be no more carving on Annie’s ear.