Monday, 24 June 2013

Medical mystery

So...there's good news and bad news.  The good news is that Buddy did NOT have to have surgery today, and he's home tonight pretty much back to normal.  The bad news is that the vet doesn't really know what's going on with the growth under his tongue.

As I mentioned in my last post, the emergency weekend vet had initially told us that Buddy had a cyst on his salivary gland (known as a ranula) and that the only effective treatment was removal of the whole gland.  In the space of a few days on IV fluids, painkillers and antibiotics, however, the picture had changed.  When I called around noon today for an update on Buddy's surgery (which I thought would have happened by that point) the regular clinic vet actually told me that he didn't think surgery would be necessary at all.  Cue a ton of confusion and frustration about receiving inconsistent information from different vets.

Bottom line is that as of this morning, the "cyst" in Buddy's mouth wasn't as large in size as it had been on the weekend.  The vet sedated him lightly so he could go in and poke at it, and found it to be firm, not liquid-filled, like you'd expect of a cyst.  After a ton of research and sending out photos of the growth to three other veterinary surgeons, he still had no answer.  As a result, he wasn't willing to operate if he didn't know what he was dealing with.  On top of all of this, Buddy had bounced back like a champ and was now full of energy and back to eating solid food.  So the vet's suggestion was that we should just take him home and watch him.

My biggest concern (since I'm a total worry-wart) was that this "growth" could be some kind of tumour or cancer.  The vet thinks not, as he felt that the mass was "too well defined around the edges" to be cancerous.  He speculated that it could be an old injury (from chomping on a stick or something) that led to the growth of scar tissue, or it could just be something else innocuous.  He suspected that Buddy has probably had this growth for a long time, and thinks that what happened late last week is that Buddy somehow managed to bite the edge of the growth and take a chunk out of it (you can kind of see where the edge is a little red) which led to pain and salivating and not eating.  He compared it to when you bite your tongue or the inside of your cheek, and then keep biting the same spot for days afterwards because it's swollen and inflamed.

At any rate, after having resigned ourselves to spending a couple thou on dog surgery, we had mixed feelings.  Obviously if it's not necessary to operate then we don't want that, but the fact remains that this issue is unresolved and could potentially recur at any time.  That, plus we don't even really know what "this issue" is!  We're also about to head off on vacation in about a week and are leaving Buddy with M's folks, so we're really hoping that they aren't stuck dealing with any problems while we're gone.  But on the upside, our pooch was so excited he practically ran home.  He ate all his dinner and is now contentedly napping on the couch.  After a weekend of unwanted excitement, I'll take it for now.

16 comments:

  1. It's really annoying not to have any answers, but the fact that Buddy is feeling better is the best result ever!

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  2. So glad Buddy is feeling well. And it sounds like the vet was confident it wasn't cancer, so that's definitely good!

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  3. Thank goodness Buddy is feeling better!!!

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  4. Ugh! I feel about vets kind of like you do about dentists! ;)

    About three years ago, while C and I were on a trip, our Lilly got sick and started peeing blood. The veterinarian (a specialist at a fancy vet hospital) did thousands of dollars of tests and was CERTAIN that she either had a rare form of cancer or an immune disease - both fatal. He gave her a few days to live. C almost put her down on his day off from work. Thankfully, he waited, and she slowly got better. After she had fully recovered, the vet decided he had figured out what it was (splenic torsion) and tried to talk us into surgery to remove her spleen. I said, No thank you!

    It's been three years, and at 6 years old, Lilly is as happy and energetic as a puppy.

    If Buddy looks healthy and happy, I think odds are he is fine! So sorry for the scare and uncertainty, though!

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  5. Oh my! Talk about emotions all over the place! This dog has certainly created a lot of excitement since he's become a part of your family! He's lucky to have you!

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  6. I am so glad Buddy is feeling better, and now you have saved all that money for IVF! I would tend to be thankful that the vet had taken another look and not barged ahead with the surgery. Sometimes I feel like vets will do procedures that aren't always necessary. They are so wishy-washy with their advice it drives me crazy.

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  7. I'm really glad that Buddy is feeling better AND that he didn't have to have surgery.

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  8. I can totally understand your feelings on this whole situation. We all want answers and not left hanging. I hope that Buddy continues to do better daily.

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  9. I'm glad he doesn't need the surgery! I've paid for surgery for one of my dogs and one cat in the past few years, and it's not cheap.
    If you're still worried about it, I might consider taking him to another vet to check it out for a second opinion.

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  10. So glad he doesn't have to go through surgery and that he's eating and happy again. I would go with what the vet says - maybe it was just like a canker sore type thing and it's nothing. I hope so! Your dog sure does bring the drama, doesn't he??

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  11. Aww! Glad he seems to be bouncing back! I hope this thing, whatever it is, doesn't effect him.

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  12. So glad Buddy is feeling better! Hopefully, this was just a fluke and this won't bother him again.

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  13. Hoping you have answers soon and glad Buddy is feeling better.

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  14. Oh, Buddy... happy to see he's back in fine form for now at least. I hate when doctors/vets take the "wait and see" approach, which they'll even do with some cancers, but it does sound kind of valid here. And I agree with not wanting to do surgery if it turns out to be unnecessary. The fact that he's no longer in pain is what's most important!

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  15. I'm so happy that Buddy is home :)

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  16. So glad Buddy's feeling better! I know it's frustrating not to have answers, but in this case, at least you were able to avoid putting him (and you!) through surgery.

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