16 December 2008

Just Another Night on the Job

It struck me that I haven't showed any gruesome work photos lately. Due in part, of course, to the fact that there haven't been a lot of really good gruesome work photo opportunities lately. Last night made up for it a bit, though, with a very nice older border collie who came in for being inappetant and generally not herself for a couple of days. Something felt wrong when I palpated her abdomen, so we took an x-ray, which I've annotated here for you:


So I took her to surgery and removed this:


Given the location of the mass on x-ray, I figured that it would most likely be either a splenic torsion (not terribly common, but we see them occasionally) or splenic mass (very common). It was neither. This mass was attached to her large intestine pretty close to where the colon enters the pelvic canal and turns into the rectum. Odds are that it is either a leiomyoma (benign) or leiomyosarcoma (malignant), which are tumors of smooth muscle and fairly uncommon, but we won't know until a pathologist evaluates the biopsies. The mass weighed in at a hefty 4.7 pounds (2.1kg), which is about 12% of this dog's body weight. That's like a 150 pound person having an 18 pound mass. Impressive stuff.

This oddity aside, the last couple of nights have given me enough time to get a bit of knitting done. I've gotten through one full pattern repeat on the cable panel of the Japanese sweater front. Only 7 more to go.


I also darned a couple of holes on Tuck's first sweater. I don't think I have any more of the original yarn, so I used some of the C220 I'm using for the Japanese sweater, since it was handy. I haven't done a lot of this sort of repair, but it looks pretty good. Reminds me a bit of those commando sweaters with the shoulder patches.


And speaking of Tuck, his pneumonia has come back. When I got up yesterday afternoon, I noticed that he was breathing a little bit harder than normal, so I checked and he had a low-grade fever. X-rays confirmed the pneumonia, so I did a transtracheal wash to see if we can figure out exactly which bug is causing this and started him back on antibiotics yet again. This time I'm thinking a 6 week course is in order. Meantime, I'm seeing if I can get any additional input from specialists on an online forum for veterinarians. I'd like not to have to put him on antibiotics every month, but I'm worried there may not be another option.


Unknown said...

I find you and your job to be incredibly fascinating.

Hope Tuck is feeling better soon...it's so awful when your babies aren't feeling well.

Glad he has two such good daddies.

Anonymous said...

hope the histopath comes back with good news on the border collie.

& good luck w/ Tuck (should I follow it on VIN?)

Anonymous said...

Poor puppy. That was one honkin' big tumor. I hope it turns out to be benign.

Anonymous said...

Holy mackerel. That tumor is bigger than Abigail's dog. How's the dog doing after the surgery, and have the pathologists given an answer yet?

Poor Tuck, too.

Danielle said...

Poor Tuck. Hope he's back in good health soon.

And that tumor? Oddly fascinating. Hope the pup's prognosis is good!

Molly Bee said...

Oh! Poor tumor doggie! Poor Tuck! Sending puppy snuggles from Bentley with wishes for both to feel better soon. Do you have power back yet?

Anonymous said...

I bet that collie is feeling better already. What a huge mass. I hope it turns out to be benign.

And I hope you find an alternative to regular antibiotics for Tuck, too.

The sweater looks great and the darning is amazing. Maybe I'll send you my socks for repair :-)

Sheepish Annie said...

Ack! That is an absurdly gi-normous tumor!!! However did you find it? It must have been so difficult to see in there...

Hope that Tuck is feeling better soon and that the ongoing antibiotics aren't the answer. But we do what we have to I suppose.

tornwordo said...

Wow, I'm pretty sure I've never seen a smooth muscle tumor before. I hope it's benign.

Lisa/knitnzu said...

And here I thought you were going to say it was a fetus that somehow never came out... kind of looks like it, but covered in something else. Tuck is a little commando! Is pneumonia in dogs primarily a secondary infection/bacterial? Can it be viral? Transtrachael wash just does not sound like a lot of fun. Glad you made it through the storm ok... yes! you do need some form of wood heat!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog.