Peedee is trying to kill me.

April 13th, 2014 2:51 pm by Kelly Garbato

(“It is a Toomah!”)

2014-03-31 - Peedee - 0026 [flickr]

A few weeks ago, Peedee’s annual senior wellness profile showed a slight elevation in his white blood cell count. An x-ray and a biopsy later, our regular vet confirmed that it was cancer, and not the infection we’d been hoping for. We were promptly referred to an oncologist south of the city, who ran more tests and recommended surgery to have the tumor removed.

His surgery was on Wednesday; luckily, they “only” removed the tumor and 20% of his left lung, vs. the tumor and two ribs we’d originally feared. (Our vet thought that the tumor was growing either on his rib bones – an osteosarcoma, which is very, very bad! – or on the connective tissue between the bones – an chondrosarcoma, which is slightly less bad. Really it was growing on the outside of his lung. This particular type of cancer only accounts for 1% of all lung cancers. Peedee, my special snowflake!)

2014-04-11 - Peedee - 0002 [flickr]

Peedee’s still in pretty rough shape, though; the surgeon had to crack his sternum and cut him open basically from his neck to his lower abdomen. He looks quite like a Franken-doggy now, or maybe a really scrappy teddy bear, with the weirdest shave job ever. It stops just above his penis, which gives it the illusion of being both larger and hairier than it is. Plus now you can see all the funny wrinkles and odd lumpy spots that were previously hiding under his fur. Naked dogs are not a pretty sight, I tell you what.

2014-04-11 - Poor Peedee - 0020 [flickr]

He’s chubbier than we realized, too. Diets for everyone!

And his poor belly is covered in bruises. It makes me wince just to think of it.

All things considered, he’s doing rather well; he was able to come home Thursday night (not 36 hours post-surgery!), though he’s on bed rest for the next two weeks. At first this didn’t seem such a daunting task; Peedee was in too much pain to move around much, so mostly we spent Friday and Saturday snuggling and watching tv in bed. (Man, am I glad we bought those new mattresses when we did! So much more comfortable, and I can actually move around without disturbing him.) Rennie even got to join us last night, though I’m still not sure he enjoyed the extra company.

2014-04-11 - Poor Peedee - 0002 [flickr]

At night, he’s been sleeping in a crate – the foster pony’s giant crate, another purchase I’m feeling super-grateful for. It’s big enough that I was able to cram four layers on blankets in for padding, with more than enough room left for Peeds.

Speaking of foster pony, he finally left last week after a nearly three-month stay. We were already searching for a new foster home, on account of pony a) is so large and enthusiastic that he intimidated the other dogs and b) didn’t get on very well with Finnick. Peedee’s surgery was kind of the last straw. Luckily they were able to find another family. He got right in that van and didn’t look back.

Anyway. Today Peedee is feeling a little better (or maybe antsier is more accurate) – barking at the power guy, eying the bed as if he has a mind to make that jump – so his crate confinement begins. We moved him into the office over lunch and, while I don’t think he’s thrilled with the smaller crate, the change of scenery should do him some good.

2014-04-13 - Peedee - 0001 [flickr]

The tumor and surrounding lung tissue was sent off to a pathologist for analysis; we should have the results back some time next week. I’m scared as fuck, but trying not to launch into the full-blown panic of that first week.

The oncologist seemed pretty optimistic about Peedee’s chances, and the surgeon thought that the operation went well, so there’s that. She removed a bunch of the surrounding lung tissue, and it looked healthy enough, so that’s a good sign. Assuming the cancer hasn’t spread and doesn’t come back, Peedee possibly has a normal life expectancy ahead of him. Fingers crossed.

Right now, our remaining dogs are in a pretty tight age cluster – we have one 8-year-old, one 9-year-old, two 10-year-olds, and an 11-year-old (Peedee!). I know we have some rough years ahead of us, but I really hoped for a two- or three-year break after Ralphie and Kaylee. Sigh.

2014-04-02 - Up Early for Peedee's Consult - 0007 [flickr]

Dogs, man. Dogs will break your heart and leave you wanting more. Every. Single. Time.

Update, 4/15/14: We got Peedee’s test results back today. The tumor was indeed malignant cancer, but of a less aggressive type (yay!), that didn’t spread to his blood (yay!), and the surgeon is confident that she removed enough extra lung tissue to get it all. As of now, she considers him “cured” – but he will have to have a chest x-ray done every 3 months for the next 18 months to monitor his condition. As of now, his prognosis is the best we could have hoped for. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or eat a giant bowl of mac & cheese.

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2 Responses to “Peedee is trying to kill me.”

  1. Creamy, Cheesy Nondairy Kugel » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] Peedee got a clean(ish) bill of health of Tuesday, I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or scarf down a giant bowl of mac & […]

  2. 2014 Real Book Challenge: April Roundup » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] chest cracked open to remove said cancer, all in less than three weeks, so there’s also that. But he’s going to be okay! We […]

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