Leave a comment

Pup Update

Since I’ve gotten a ton of messages from folks (thank you all, by the way, we all really appreciate it) I figured I’d share today’s veterinarian update. I brought him in this afternoon to have his suture removed and to have him examined to determine next steps. The good news is that the size of the mass is much smaller than it was at the beginning of the month – about a full inch smaller. So it’s shrinking. There’s still quite a lot of redness and inflammation around the mass but overall he’s looking better. He had a really tough week two weeks ago but the antibiotics really seem to have helped – his temp is down from 105 (which is incredibly and nearly critically high) back down to 100/101 which is normal for a dog. The super creepy liquid accumulation in his belly has also disappeared and his skin has tightened back up so he doesnt look horrifying. So despite all the negative test results we all think he definitely had an infection of some sort which the antibiotics cleared up. Last week he bounced back to his usual self – his appetite is back and he’s chewing and running and bouncing again. He favors his leg a little, but I would too if I had a lump on my belly by my boy parts and my leg joint. 

Anyway, today the vet removed the suture and took a look. He’s been measuring the mass with calipers and the mass has shrunk down about an inch. He was pretty shocked as he wasn’t expecting Mowgli to look so relatively good. He asked if I minded dragging our feet for another two weeks to see if the combo of Benadryl and time keep it shrinking. We discussed the possibility of a sting of some sort – one of the tests mentioned a possible foxglove sting. Now foxgloves are super pretty but they are also super poisonous (digitalis, the heart medication, could be made from foxgloves). And while we don’t have foxgloves in our yard (nor in our neighborhood that I’m aware) the point was that it’s possible that he got stung by something, be it a plant or a spider. So… the vet wants to wait and see if the swelling continues to go down on its own. His mass is still leaking fluid – mostly blood – and the draining is a good thing. So we’re going to keep monitoring him (and the lump – I now have my own calipers to do measurements) and we’ll go back in a couple of weeks to see what it looks like. 

It’s still possible that it’s some kind of cancer, but right now since it’s so in doubt, the vet wants to err on the side of caution – if it IS an infection/sting then surgical options would be really really bad. We want to give the antibiotics time to clear his system to see if things flare back up again so we can go for round two of diagnosis. So that’s where we are at as of today! Fingers crossed that the thing keeps on shrinking and healing! 

4 Comments

The One With Mowgli’s Ouchies

So we’ve been wrassling with a doggie health issue since the 4th of July. On the 4th we noticed that a little skin lump on his tummy had suddenly swelled up to the size of a golf ball. The backstory here is this: Mowgli’s an American Staffordshire terrier/Great Dane/misc. mix and his tummy has no hair. He has terrible seasonal allergies and in the summer his skin gets really rashy and itchy. He takes special doggie antihistamines and sometimes just straight up Benadryl. Anyway, I though that the little lump was a skin hive and related to the fact that I’d run out of his special allergy meds. I upped his Benadryl and left a message with the vet to bring him in on Monday (the 4th being a holiday).

So we get him into the vet and the vet’s all “ew, gross, that’s not right” and I’m agreeing so they did a needle biopsy to see what the big ole nasty lump is about.

On Tuesday Mowgli’s kind of sluggish, doesn’t come running for his breakfast, which is worrisome – this is NOT a dog who turns down food. I come home from work to see that he’s left his treats untouched and that his whole belly is freakishly swollen with fluids under the skin. And it looked like something from a horror movie because his skin has ruptured and he’s leaking blood and fluid and it’s just disgusting – I honestly expected a swarm of alien babies to appear at one point. (I’ll spare you all the gruesome details and photos because seriously, it was gross.) I freak out and call my husband to get home and to bring bandages. He rushes home and we go to the overnight emergency animal hospital. We arrive at about 8:30p and leave after midnight. The overnight vet took fluid samples to run a CBC (full blood test) and a culture of the weird fluid to see what kind of infection(s) he now has. Mowgli has a body temperature of about 105 at this point so it’s pretty clear that between the horror show and the temperature there’s some kind of infection raging through his poor little body. He’s just pitiful too – all he wants to do is climb up in our laps and cuddle so we can make him feel better. We go home with pain killers and antibiotics to start battling the infection.

At 6:30 Wednesday morning the overnight vet calls – the blood test came back clean – slightly elevated levels in one category but nothing to indicate organ failure or anything troublesome. We already have a vet appointment scheduled for Thursday morning to do a punch biopsy on the mass to see if it’s cancerous or not. The overnight vet tells us about something called mast cells and this seems like something that might be relevant as mast cell cancers release histamines in the skin and often present like skin allergies. So now we’re braced for a cancer diagnosis.

Thursday rolls in and we bring Mowgli to our vet. He’s shocked by the new grossness and warns us that he might not be able to do the punch biopsy because the infection and swelling might make Mowgli unable to take the local anesthetic and that’s going to be necessary since they want to cut a chunk out of his skin. We ;eave him at the vet for the day and I get a call at 1:30 that they did successfully get a biopsy and that he’s all done. Bring our poor confused, sick, tired, pup home and cuddle him. He has a single stitch but doesn’t have to wear a cone of shame. He’s got some necrotic tissue from the skin rupture but we’re to leave it alone for now and let his belly continue to drain if needed and just keep mopping up.

Mowgli was feeling pretty punky for a couple of days after that, but as of Sunday, he’s pretty much back to form. He’s eating like a champ, moving pretty well, barking at things again. He still gets slightly gross on occasion, but all in all he’s doing well.

We’d been told that all the test results would be in Monday, Tuesday at the latest. I got the call today (Wednesday) at about 5:30p, and it’s a mixed bag. All of the tests came back negative. As in no cancer, no infection, just “inflamed tissue.” And that’s clearly not right. There’s a golf ball sized hard lump and the antibiotics have clearly had a positive effect. So… we’re still on square one with how to proceed.

I talked with our vet for a while and we decided to do nothing until Monday afternoon – I already had an appointment to get Mowgli’s suture removed. The doctor’s taking over the appointment and wants to check out the area, see what he sees so we can decide our next steps. He ran over options with me and right now I’m leaning toward doing another punch biopsy, but deeper this time. The vet says it’s possible that the biopsy result was inconclusive because they didn’t cut far enough to find cancerous tissue as he was so very swollen on Thursday. It’s also possible that there’s something totally rare and weird going on. They also haven’t ruled out things like spider bite, weird encounter with something toxic in nature, that kind of thing.

Anyway… that’s what’s going on with Mowgli. We’re crossing our fingers and toes that it ends up being something easy to treat and then we’re done with it.

I’ve you have had a dog with skin cancer or funky skin I’d love to hear what you learned.

In the meantime, we cuddle and sleep with and pamper the boy.

Leave a comment

Weird Al Is My New Hero

One insanely catchy song + grammar lesson = SWOOOOON.

(Thanks Laura – I needed a chair dance song!)

1 Comment

Jimmy Fallon Performs My New Favorite Thing

This is such genius. All hail Jimmy Fallon.

Leave a comment

The physics of ketchup pouring

If my dad were alive he’d likely make me do some math on this. NPR has a great piece on how to get that pesky ketchup out of the glass bottle, and why it’s such a pain in the neck. The root of the issue? Newtonian physics:

Ketchup, Zaidan says in the video, is a pretty unusual substance. It behaves both like a solid and a liquid, depending on how you shake that bottle.

 

That’s because there are two types of fluid: Newtonian and non-Newtonian. Newtonian fluids retain their viscosity — or resistance to flow — regardless of the amount of force you put on them. Non-Newtonian fluids are what Zaidan calls “rule breakers.” Their thickness and viscosity change based on how long, how hard and how fast you push.

It’s pretty fascinating, check it out. Me? I’m all for the squeeze bottles, initial watery shot and all.

Leave a comment

A Little Game Of Thrones For Your Friday

The folks who do Bad Lip Reading have outdone themselves with this Game of Thrones “trailer.” Watch the followup cut scenes for more excellent Joffrey slapping action. Have a great weekend!

Leave a comment

Brian Williams – OG

I cannot stop laughing at this.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 606 other followers

%d bloggers like this: