Friday, June 25, 2010

Spare a Thought for a Good Dog?

Dakota taking a nap on Christmas Eve 2009 at Grandma's House

Dakota, sadly, is having health issues.

She's always had lipomas (fatty tumors, generally benign,) at least as long as we've had her.  Most of them grow and then get smaller and grow again ... but one on her side has gotten huge.  In fact it's gotten so huge that (very) recently she's developed edema (swelling from fluid build-up) in her leg as pressure on the lymphatic system (vet's best guess) is slowing the normal flow of various fluids through her tissues.  Thankfully she still has blood circulation, and she doesn't appear to be in any pain.  In fact she's been her usual sweet self.

What's worse is that at the same time the edema appeared, her skin started to discolor.  That may be a sign of necrosis somewhere in there--perhaps a cyst, or something worse.

I'm worried, but the docs are optimistic.   She's in great health (other than the lipoma/edema) and quite spry for a geriatric dog.  She's on antibiotics in preparation for her surgery on Monday (in case there is in fact necrosis or something bacterial going on, although so far she has no fever and things look okay-ish.)  The vets are going to do a mass reduction and a little exploration.  To a civilian, it looks like something they could just peel off and toss in the biological waste disposal can, but these things can be quite a bit more involved than that, and fat cells, when disturbed, can swell up and actually worsen the problem they're trying to correct.  So it's unlikely that the whole thing will go--but we'll see.  They'll know more about exactly how much they'll have to do when they open her up.

If you're so inclined, please spare a good thought for the old lady.  This surgery isn't terribly risky on the scale of things, but you know how it goes with such things.

No comments: