|About ten days ago I discovered a very large lump under the skin of Munson’s right hind leg. My first thought was it was a cyst or benign fatty tumour. It’s not exactly attractive, and seems to have come up almost overnight like some exotic mushroom. |
When I first saw it, it was covered by a thin film of hair, not unlike most of my possessions, and was about the size and hardness of an egg or golf-ball. It didn’t seem to bother Munson when I handled it but my quick reading on some canine lumps and bumps suggested I should get it checked out by a vet.
A few days later on a warm Sunday afternoon like today, vet Emily took a fine needle aspirate for testing. On Wednesday she reported back that it seemed to be a spindle cell sarcoma. It would be necessary to do a full biopsy (under anaesthesia) to do a more exacting diagnosis, one that would indicate the margin of tissue that would need to be subsequently removed around what had become a shiny red, angry passenger on Munson’s leg.
In the intervening days, it drew Munson’s attention, licking and worrying at it there was less camouflaging hair. The biopsy surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. I can’t say I’m not worried, as it’s only four years since I waved Bondi off, but my understanding is that they rarely metastasize, although they are prone to regrow, and regrow and regrow. The worst-case limited result – if I can say such a thing – is that he loses the leg.
With that ominous possibility lurking in the shadows, I didn’t want to waste any opportunity for Munson to be out and about. There’s more to a heffalump than its lump. Yesterday’s outing was with his buddy Scout. As fond of each other as they are, they don’t wrestle and tumble like Munson’s other playmates, so I wasn’t concerned about chafing.
Today’s visit to the park was a bit more of a problem; either some blood or the mere scent of the tumour brought too much attention from unfamiliar dogs, so I kept Munson on his leash when he wasn’t in safe company. This afternoon is for sunshine and play, tomorrow brings what it brings.