Darla is recovering from cancer surgery she had yesterday at Peak Veterinary Referral Center in Burlington. In the photo is Peak's board-certified surgeon, Dr. Kurt Schulz, operating on Darla, assisted by his surgery tech Theresa.
Just over a week ago I discovered a round, flat growth smaller than a dime on her left side while petting her. The only reason I think I even noticed it was because the growth was just at the edge of an area on her belly that had been shaved for a previous ultrasound. We had seen something similar several years ago with one of our personal dogs, Goldie. It turned out to be a mast cell tumor, so this small growth on Darla set off our alarm bells.
I took Darla in last week to see one of our internists at Peak, Dr. Dani Rondeau, for an evaluation. She pulled cells out to examine under a microscope and came back to the room about five minutes later with a frown on her face. Sure enough, she found some mast cells, but cautioned we needed to have a full pathology analysis done before we had anything definitive.
Dani called late the next day with the lab results: Yes, it was a mast cell tumor. At this point we don't know the grade or how clean the margins are following surgery until the tissue Kurt removed yesterday is sent to the lab for further analysis. We should know that in a few days.
Here's Kurt doing a pre-surgery exam on Darla yesterday morning -- you can tell she was one stressed out girl:
She came through the surgery in good shape and I was able to bring her home yesterday evening. She's not very happy with me today but I think she'll get over it!
Also on board for the trip to Peak were Widget for another round of chemotherapy, Travis for another round of tongue depressors (25!) and Tanner for his work-up.
The great news on Travis is that we took a week off as planned and didn't lose any ground, and in fact Marielle was able to get the additional two tongue depressors in. That will be where we stay until his oral surgery in January. A lot of people asked whether his mouth will stay open in the future. That's the part we don't know yet; right now he's on a low dose of prednisone, which should help keep his jaw from closing back up. Whether his jaw stays open after we take him off prednisone following his oral surgery is an open question, and only time will tell.
I will have a full report on Tanner for Monday's blog, but suffice to say he melted everyone's heart at Peak yesterday.
Final 2013 Shelter Challenge Underway
The final round of the Shelter Challenge for 2013 began on October 28th and runs until December 22. You can vote every day here. To search for us, type in our name, Rolling Dog Farm, and Lancaster, NH 03584. We just won another $1,000 in the previous round, so your daily votes do bring in serious money for our disabled animals!
Please note that I cannot help with technical or voting problems. I also do not have an "inside track" to anyone at the Shelter Challenge, and I don't know any more about the contest than anyone else does. So if you find yourself having issues, please consult their FAQ page here and their Rules page, which is a pop-up you can find linked on this page.
Thanks for your votes!