For those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook you saw that last Friday I had to take a non-planned trip to the vet with Sherman because I found a very surprising mass on the pinna of his left ear.
For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram or Facebook, obviously this is new news for you. I share lots of craziness over there like what I’m making for dinner, or what Gracie is wearing to school, or Sherman’s bloody ear, because I know that is what everyone wants to see.(sarcasm)
Anyway, I didn’t like the bump I found on Sherman’s ear at 5:10 Friday evening so I called the vet and because she is totally awesome she told me to bring him up and she would take a look at it. She is totally awesome because the the vet office closes at 6:00 and she was fully booked and fully sick with the sniffles but she loves Sherman so she fit him in.
To be quite honest with you I wasn’t all that concerned, maybe because it happened so fast, I found the mass and 15 minutes later I was at the vets, which didn’t leave me much time to dwell on it, but when the vet saw it she didn’t like it. I had peeled the scab off of it and what was underneath was an ulcerated pea sized raised mass. She immediately took a swab and looked at it under the microscope. At this point she was thinking it may be inflammation due to some sort of trauma, a histiocytoma, or a mast cell tumor. The good news was that she didn’t see any mast cells on the slide, and even though the ear is a common place to see a histiocytoma, mast cell tumors can be seen there too, so she still wanted to proceed with caution.
We can be reactive or proactive in this type of situation. Treat the bump with some antibiotic cream and monitor over the weekend or send a piece of it off for biopsy now.
In most cases I am a reactive person. I take the wait and see approach. However, when it comes to my dog and the word mast cell, I am proactive.
So we sent a piece of the mass off for biopsy.
********Slightly Graphic Image Below
This is what Sherman’s ear looked like after she removed a piece of the mass. For those of you who are curious about the procedure we did here I will fill you in. The process was quite fast and simple:
The vet injected Lidocaine around the area and then used a 10 blade to cut two small pieces of the mass out. Then we applied pressure because it bled quite a bit and used a cautery stick to stop the bleeding. It was all done in less than 10 minutes and Sherman didn’t flinch.
Now came the hard part. The wait.
A biopsy usually takes 4-5 days to come back from the pathologist. In 4-5 days a lot of things can go through ones mind. First, if the biopsy came back as mast cell Sherman would lose part of his ear. I spent 3 days folding Sherman’s ear back to see what he would look like with 1/2 his ear gone.
Next I spent hours looking up mast cell tumors online. Yes, even people who work in the vet world do this, although we get totally called out on it by our peers. Eventually I found a picture of a mast cell tumor on a dog’s ear and it looked exactly like the mass on Sherman’s ear.
I basically had Sherman set up for surgery by that point.
I was driving my husband crazy.
I was driving the lab that had the biopsy crazy.
“Is it done yet?” I would call and ask
“No. Stop calling us.” The lab tech would say.
Finally on Tuesday, after pestering the lab for 3 days, I received the report.
The mass was consistent with a regressing cutaneous histiocytoma. No mast cells seen! Which is good and no further action is required!
So now here’s my question for you:
A lot of people talk about dog being proactive vs reactive when it comes to dog traning but what about when it comes to you medically managing your pet, would you consider yourself a reactive or a proactive person, or does it depend on the situation?
In life in general I am a reactive person, but when it comes to my dogs health I am definitely a proactive person.