The Awesome Pawsome had their annual exams on March 23rd. The good news is that they are all vaccinated and good to go for another year. The bad news is that there is something wrong with every.single.one of them.
Having three dogs close in age was fabulous when they were young. But now that they are all considered “seniors” it is depressing. And expensive. I hate that Banner may never remember our black-and-white canine clan.
Gypsy, as always, is allergic to life, and is back on steroids and an anti-fungal to treat the yeast infection on her back, right paw.
Haskell may or may not be in the early stages of kidney failure.
And Alley Cat? Yeah, she has cancer.
She’s had this lump on her side for awhile now (read: years), but it hasn’t grown or changed. We’d asked about it at previous checkups, but the vet always said that it wasn’t anything to worry about. It was always described to me as an ingrown hair or something of that nature. Well, that is, until March 23rd, when the doctor told me she’d feel better about it if we did a little non-invasive test to identify the mass. She phrased it as, “It is mostly likely nothing, but just to be sure…” Turns out, it IS something: A Malignant Tumor. The only question still remaining is what stage it is in. To determine that, the lump had to be removed on Friday and shipped off to the lab. We should know more when the results come back in 7-14 business days. We have our fingers crossed that it hasn’t already spread to her organs. Apparently, this kind of cancer is a bit of a fast and silent killer. Possibly the same kind that took Dolly’s life several years ago. The best we can hope for is that the tumor is localized and they were able to remove it all on Friday. Even then, though, there are no guarantees. This kind of tumor almost always returns somewhere else. Chances are, one way or another, this is what Alley will eventually die from. Which, again, is just plain depressing.
Especially since she’s lost a lot of weight recently and you can see her ribs and spine. She’s always been around 55 pounds, but is currently only about 45. I don’t like that we may already be watching her waste away. She’s only seven or eight. It seems too soon to be already having to think about these things. I always figured she'd be around well into her teens.
The good news is that Alley is no worse for wear after her surgery. Well, unless you count the soft E-Collar. When we put it on her, she stops moving and becomes a statue. It is unnatural for that dog to not be in motion. She runs everywhere. Alley apparently agrees because, despite the fact that she doesn’t move while wearing it, she is able to get out of it magically. As in one second she is standing in front of you with it on and the next – POOF! – all that remains is the e-collar on the floor. Sometimes the first (and only) clue that she is gone is the SLAP! SLAP! of the doggie door as she makes her escape. She obviously doesn’t feel bad, which makes the whole situation that much more surreal.
When Alley had her surgery on Friday, Haskell went with her so the vet could do more tests on his kidneys. Unfortunately, all tests done up until now have been inconclusive. He could – literally – have nothing wrong with him, be suffering from a mild kidney infection or be in early stages of kidney failure. It is all very unclear. The next step is for them to test his first morning pee. Until we have those results in I am refusing to panic. He is the baby of the group, and it seems way too early for him to start going down hill.
Technically, Gypsy is the only one who didn’t have bloodwork done on the 23rd. Thanks to her series of ear surgeries last summer, she isn’t due to have her blood drawn until June or July. But we did go ahead and do other routine tests, like a fecal. She was (of course) empty at the vet during the annual, so I was sent home with a poo collection kit. And, just so Alley and Haskell wouldn’t out do her medically for once, it came back positive for Giardia. Because why the f*ck not? Nothing like a little highly contagious intestinal parasite to make life with three dogs and a twelve week old baby a little more interesting.
I just hope something magical will happen and all three will be around for many more years to come. Because, honestly, I can't imagine life without my four-legged kiddos.