Friday, January 19, 2024

Lumps and bumps - part two


Last spring, I noticed a small growth hidden in Charly’s fur.  It was in front her left ear above her cheekbone and measured three to four millimetres in diameter.  It looked a little different than her cysts – it had rough dark skin and resembled a mole.  I didn’t panic (yet).  The growth didn’t seem to bother her.  Then, a few days later, I thought it seemed bigger…was I imagining it?  And a day or two after that, it looked bigger again.  I was sureit had grown – the fur no longer hid it from sight.  I called the vet and scheduled an appointment.  The morning of the appointment, the growth was noticeably bigger from the night before – it was almost two centimetres in diameter and looked as if it could burst.  Charly was drooling.  I called the vet to let them know that she may need urgent surgery.  She did.  That growth was removed and tests revealed it had abnormal cells.

Charly’s was very sluggish post-op.  And, unlike all other recoveries from surgery, Charly’s appetite was slow to return.  The placement of the sutures made it uncomfortable for her to eat properly.  I fed her by hand for a couple days.  The size of the growth meant a large incision and cutting, and the skin on that side was “tucked”.  In spite of the loose skin on her face, her jowl on the left is higher than the right.  I suspect some nerves were damaged because for a couple months when she stared at me, only her right eye blinked normally.  The left eye closed when she slept, but it did not close in unison with the right eye.  Sometimes I would manually blink her left eye for her.  


Eventually Charly’s eating returned to normal, but now she is a very messy eater.  Her eyes are blinking together almost always.  My checks of her bumps and lumps occur very regularly.  And the feeling of anguish when I stare at her lopsided face is fleeting when I consider how lucky we are.

Join next Friday for "A running dog forever"!

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