I took two of our blind girls, Evelyn and Penny, into Missoula with me today to see our internal medicine specialist there, Dr. Dave Bostwick at Missoula Veterinary Specialty Clinic. Evelyn has been losing weight, and no amount of adjusting her diet has seemed to make much difference. She has lost 11 pounds, though she seems visibly (to us, at least) to have lost more than that.
In the photo above, Dave is listening to her heart during the physical exam. Dave's vet tech, Alex, thought it would be a better idea if she took the photos instead of me, so I was assisting today. Next came the ultrasound:
The good news is that her internal organs looked fine, which is a real relief. I still am not good at reading the grainy ultrasound images, and every time I see something suspicious (to my untrained eye), I pepper Dave with questions like "What's that?" or "Uh oh, what's that?" Usually it's something harmless like, well, a gas bubble in the colon, for instance, or simply my imagination running amok.
So on both her physical exam and ultrasound, Evelyn looked okay. The blood work results won't be back until tomorrow, and those will tell us whether she's got something like chronic renal failure. Please keep your fingers crossed for Evelyn.
The news on Penny was much more definitive. She had just recently developed a small white growth on a toe on her front right foot ... it looked almost like a wart. It was pretty unremarkable and it didn't keep growing. But then, all of a sudden, her toenail completely broke off, leaving a stubby red patch of flesh. Oh, no.
It turns out that Penny has a nail-bed tumor -- either a melanoma or sarcoma. X-rays this morning revealed that the tumor was eating away at the bone in that toe, but so far it hadn't appeared to spread beyond the first joint. These nail-bed tumors, particularly the melanomas, metastasize or spread very quickly. So Dave scheduled surgery for next Tuesday to amputate that toe up to the first joint. He will take biopsies at that point (she'd need to be sedated for a biopsy anyway) so we can find out which type of cancer it is, but the results won't change the need to remove the tumor surgically.
In the meantime, Dave sent in the pre-operative blood work on Penny, and here we are drawing the blood from her:
Both girls enjoyed driving around Missoula today while I ran errands. They were especially happy after the very last stop when I loaded the groceries from the Good Food Store into the truck and handed them a couple of chewy oatmeal cookies for a treat!