03 May 2013
I’m in the dog house. Grayson ain’t happy with me.
I took him in a few weeks back to get the annual round of shots and checkup (translation: $$$). Being a Golden and a perpetual hair machine, I am always on the watch for things that change. I play with the dogs all the time so I tend to spot if anything new shows up. When out roaming the field and bayous, they tend to pick up all sorts of stuff along the trail. One of my biggest paranoia is with ticks. I am always feeling up my dogs to see if they have any new bumps/lumps. Of course, any extra attention they get is fine by them. Goldens (as well as other big dogs) have a tendency to get skin tag/lumps (technical term: sebaceous cyst) as they grow older and Shadow had accumulated several lumps over the years. I asked the vet if this was something we should worry about or get checked out, but he didn't seem to see it as a cause for concern. Grayson is still pretty young (5-6) but a few have popped up on him over the past year or so. Most are skin tags or knots, but I have occasionally picked off a tick or two. Somewhere along the way, one big one showed up on his side that looked like a big pimple. Kinda gross. I asked his first vet, Dr Stanley, if we should be worried and he assured me it was a simple cyst and nothing to sweat over (but looked ugly to me). Dr Stanley left the office and moved north so we bounced to other vets. Finally got Grayson into see one of the primary vets, Dr Puksta to check him out stem to stern. Dr Puksta is a bit more proactive that other vets and she was concerned over two of the newer lumps and wanted to remove them and do a pathology (not words I wanted to hear). She didn't see any problem outright but wanted to make sure. And the big ugly knot on his side was just that – a big cyst (dog wart). Goldens are prone to get cancer. One of our GBGRR group had her dog (4) diagnosed with cancer recently and undergoing chemo. I tend to worry about this stuff for the wife, for the kids (two and four footed) more than I do myself.
Really didn't want to put Gray through the wringer, but I tended to agree with the doc and we booked a slot for Thursday for day surgery. Dropped him off in the am early and eager (but unfed). They called back in the afternoon that he came through with flying colors and was ready to come home. I picked him up after work and you could tell he had just about enough of that place. Poor guy. Tail tucked, saved down in several spots, five small ugly scars, still woozy from anesthesia. Not a happy camper. I took him home let him rest. Even this morning he wasn't up to his normal level. Doc said it might take a few days to get his groove back. No dog park for 10 days until the staples come out. He is a bit more clingy and guilty looking (What did I do?) and I feel bad for him. Even on a short walk, Claire was pulling point with Grayson bringing up the rear. Hoping to give him a chance to recover this weekend. We should hear something on pathology tests next week but I am not sure I want to hear the news.
Doing surgery on a dog (or cat) can have bad side effects. I kept thinking about Bella and wondered if this was the right thing to do. Claire has way more lumps on her that Grayson had, but at her age, I am not sure she would survive the surgery. Last year we did teeth cleaning on her and she was pretty much checked out for 3 days. At 10+ years old, I am not sure I could do to do that to her. Looking forward to a quiet weekend to celebrate our anniversary.