it went well, though I won't feel totally relieved until we have the biopsy back. She's even more gluedto methan usual so I'm just posting from my phone for now but I'll have pictures later. I was able to stay iin the room with her the whole time (the vet was surprised that I didn't freak out or get sick - it was pretty messy) and he did a really nice job, the mass was huge - I'd guess 10mm or so, and right next to a vein he was very nervous he'd have to cut. But it went smoothly, the initial biopsy says it's not mast cell but is otherwise inconclusive, and we2e home recovering now.
and if y'all thought she was cute before, you'd be gobsmacked at the drunk-and-affectionate cuteness radiating from her now. The cats and oscar are all kissed within an inch of their lives.
Okay, we've made it off the bed and onto the couch! She's acting pretty normal now, slightly lower energy (in other words, now she's acting like a well-behaved dog instead of her normal bouncy goofball-ness) and sleeping a lot. But it means I can be by the computer, so you all get pictures!
This is a picture of the lump the morning we had it aspirated, December 2. It was larger then than it was when I first noticed it, at the beginning of November, and larger still by the surgery.
Because we had the surgery done at Rob's clinic, I had a few benefits most people don't get - I was allowed to stay with her the whole time, and take her in later than usual (because her blood was tested just a few weeks ago) so we got there around noon and settled down in the kennel to wait for a bit. I wasn't sure how long things were going to take, so I brought a book and some knitting, as well as her dog bed and blanket and her stuffed Octopus.
She was a little confused as to why we had to sit in the cage, but didn't try to get out, so that was okay
When it was time for the surgery, they let me hold her head and pet her until she was very close to out (and then they needed to adjust her position for lighting and access, so I stepped back). I was expecting to be asked to leave, but they let me stay the whole time, which I was glad of. I wanted to know everything that went on with her. They used more anesthesia than expected (I suppose technically it was a higher mix of gas? Not sure...) because she just wouldn't go to sleep. She hit the loopy stage pretty quickly; in about ten seconds or so her tongue was Lolling about. From there they couldn't get her eyes to stop responding, and ended up using a dose normally reserved for very large dogs (she's 40lb) until she was fully under, then dropped her down to just a big dog level, which was still a little higher than expected. She's a tough cookie!
The location of the lump proved to be particularly difficult - there's not a lot of extra skin to use for closing, and additionally it was very, very close to several veins that run right through the ear. We weren't sure we'd be able to get it off without just taking those veins too, but in the end, he did a great job, left the veins intact, and even managed to pinch the skin a bit to close up without changing the shape of her wonky little ear noticeably. And in the end, he got out a lump that was close to round, and that I'd guessed to be about 10mm, but I think a better estimate would be close to the size of a dime (which I just looked up, is 17.9mm across) so probably more like 15mm. Bigger than I want in my little dork dog! (DON"T CLICK HERE UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEE THE GROSS LUMP IMMEDIATELY AFTER IT WAS REMOVED). A quick biopsy on location showed more mixed results - the needle aspiration had shown white blood cells, and while this was ruled out of the risk of being a mast cell tumor, it did have some abnormalities, too. Cells that are supposed to be football-shaped were round. So it's going out for a more thorough biopsy to determine what's going on there.
After the surgery, Rob carried her back to the kennel run for me, and we got her set up on her dog bed, under her blanket, and near her Octopus, with me reading to her.
She started waking up quickly, but was obviously very confused. She was facing away from me, so I lay down next to her so she could see me. She was extremely sensitive to motion, and very, very, very handshy - she wouldn't let me touch her face at all, and was flinching a lot. Rob had warned me that her vision would be off because of the anesthesia, so I think it was a depth perception thing. What she did want was to smell me, though. Since she wasn't comfortable with my hand coming near her, I lay down and tucked my face inside the e-collar with her, and talked very softly to her. She kept reaching closer, and putting her nose right on my face, and trying to smell my breath very closely, so I let her do that for a while. When she got a little more conscious, I moved her around slightly so she could put her head in my lap. From there she became mentally aware very, very quickly. I took this video about half an hour after the surgery, I think (I wasn't watching the clock, that's just a guess).
It took maybe another half hour for her to start to try to stand or move around on her own, and even then, it was mostly about getting closer to me. By then, Rob helped me load her in the car and take her home. I was able to carry her in the house, but it quickly became clear that she was waking up more, and felt the need to make her rounds to check on everyone. I had to keep Oscar from playing with her, but he gave her a few gentle kisses, and she went to kiss all of the cats, too, wobbling around and leaning on things going down the halls. Once each cat was checked on, it was back to bed for her, where the cats wanted to further inspect the weird new dress she had.
We used a soft cone - it's not really a "comfy cone" because it's not padded or anything, just sort of thick paper or stiff fabric. It wasn't terribly obtrusive, didn't make a ton of noise, could be slept on, and overall I'd recommend it. Last night, she looked this
and after her pain meds like this
Then this morning she went burrowing into the kitchen trying to steal cat food, and made herself look like this
and so I took the cone off.
I'm not leaving her today, so she won't go into her crate and risk banging her head in frustration, so for now, she's on the mend and hopefully the biopsy results come back "nothing is wrong except your dog is a dork!"
Fingers crossed for those biopsy results! Her ear looks good; that is a large mass to remove and the pinna is really not a forgiving or easy place to do it.
Watching anesthetic stages is so fascinating to me. Of course when it's B it's nearly impossible to be objective, but seeing the aftereffects and recuperation from say, plane 2 vs 3 (which is less common) or the different types of medications used by different vets is always really interesting to me, as you documented in your post.
When do you get the lab results back? Sending happy Lib thoughts!