Worrying Wednesday

First and foremost, she’s OK.
maggie
Taken at MOH’s earlier this year

A little while ago, we discovered a lump and rather than panic straight away, kept an eye on it. Maggie has several wart like bumps on her anyway, but we know where they are and there has been no change in them for years.
This was different, and the other week, we both agreed we thought it was getting bigger so decided to take her to the vet.

Our surgery was very modern, the receptionists very nice and the vet……….. a young by the book individual…… professional, but something lacking.
We weighed her before going in and she’d lost a kilo which worried us a little as her appetite was OK.
He told us she had 2 lumps, and put a needle in the biggest one which made her yelp a bit and press into Hubby which she does when she’s afraid or uncertain. He recommended surgery and wondered why we hadn’t had her spayed.
He also said she had a rotten tooth, so that at least would have to be addressed.

With both of us upset and not thinking straight, he bombarded us with jargon and suggestions, then said obviously we had a lot to think about and to let them know what we wanted to do.
Hubby and I hardly spoke in the car, both of us trying to deal with what was best for Maggie and not let her suffer unnecessarily. We were each thinking the worst case scenario, the cost of prolonged treatment for an inevitable negative outcome and quality of life.

In herself, she was fine:  happy, loving, enjoying her walks, having a little rush about if she felt like it, no problems there at all. At least the vet had said she wasn’t in any pain.

maggie combi
A day at Hamworthy Park this year, a familiar place when she was a puppy.

Vet bills here are expensive, and we cancelled our insurance for her a couple of years ago when the premium practically doubled after we’d put in a claim for her leg muscle problem. We decided to put money aside instead in case of emergencies, so we could afford for her to have the treatment, but obviously there would be a limit.

Two days later, I was rushing Hubby to A&E with a suspected heart attack and they kept him in for a week for tests. Luckily it wasn’t and he is on the mend, with extra medication and blood tests twice a week. It was a shitty week.

That same afternoon (the hospital had sent me home as there was nothing I could do), I decided to take Maggie to another vet for a second opinion.
I was thinking more clearly and took in everything he said. He actually found a smaller third lump and suggested a mammary strip. Apparently in older dogs, these lumps can be caused by estrogen when bitches come into season, which is one of the reasons they recommend spaying. I wasn’t given a lecture though or made to feel guilty because we hadn’t had her ‘done’. We had wanted her to have pups but could never find a nice Daddy to mate with her. She’s too old now, but her seasons weren’t a bother, so we left things as they were.
maggie bliss

 

 

Taken on the boat before our revamp

When I told Hubby, we weighed our options, and sent out feelers to family and friends for their input and opinions.
The way we saw it was :

We could leave things alone, hope for the best and let nature take its course.

We could opt for surgery, and if it was The Big C, decided not to let her go through chemo or radiation therapy, giving her the best we could for the time she had left.

We could agree to the surgery, and lose her under anaesthetic.

She could have the surgery and everything would be OK.

Maggie is 10 years old, 11 in January. That’s almost 77 in doggie years.
She is healthy, fit and young at heart. She is (spoilt rotten and) loved to bits.

We decided to send an email to our vet about arranging for the surgery, asking for a quote. Their estimate (stressed as estimate not a quote) came back as between £500 and £550.
We sent another message with the request that we could stay with her as she went under from the pre med. We also asked if we could be on hand when she came round, after of course they had done all their professional checks, as we know from past experience that Maggie gets a little stressed if we’re not there.
We ended up going into the surgery and talking to the young vet we had seen before.
He was not sympathetic to us as concerned owners, though he did say we could stay with her for a few moments after she’d had the pre med injection. As for afterwards, it was a definite no-no, only his professional team were allowed during recovery.
We pointed out that we understood their procedures, but our two previous vets had allowed us the opportunity to be with her. He wanted to know who they were, and when we said one was in Lincolnshire and the other in Bournemouth, he was not impressed.
Hubby had heard enough and we left, saying we’d be in touch.

He was thinking along the lines of going back to either of our previous vets, but with the seriousness of the operation, after care, and travelling, it just wasn’t feasible, so I suggested we both went to see the other vet who had given me his opinion that day I’d taken him into hospital.

The vet was kind enough to see us after surgery and had Maggie’s examination notes up on the screen when we went in. He explained everything, and promised Hubby tranquilizers for me too if necessary because he could see how anxious I was!
He was what we call ‘Old School’ and his attitude towards us as owners as well as Maggie’s well-being got him ‘the job’ (his estimate was also a little cheaper than the other practice, but that had nothing to do with our decision).
Yes, we could stay with her at the pre med stage, and when she got dopey, they would ‘take her off our hands’.
If necessary and she showed signs of anxiety when she came round, they would call us and we would be allowed to sit with her until she was ready to come home.
maggiesittingIn her prime at 3 years old in the Cottage.

Surgery was today.
We took her for a walk this morning as usual.
She performed the business for us, as usual.
Sadly, there was no breakfast treat for her (no food after 7.30 last night), though she was allowed a drink if she wanted it.
It was a lady vet who came out to see us. They weighed her (she’d put on half a kilo, which I took as a good sign), and gave her the pre med injection in reception. She pressed into Hubby’s legs as it stung a bit, but the vet was great and made a fuss of her. After about 15 minutes, she was calm enough to be led away, and we said we’d ring around midday rather than their suggested time of 2.30.

As things turned out, it was 2.30 when we called and we were told everything was fine.
Maggie was OK , the surgery had gone well, she was calm and sleeping, and we could collect her between 5 and 6.30.
We were on the doorstep at 5 to.

She was so pleased to see us.
The wound though is massive, stretching from her groin right up to her front ‘armpit’.
It’s a mess, ugly and raw, but she’ll be OK.
They only found one lump, which was quite big, the other two having disappeared. However, they decided to do the full strip as agreed rather than run the risk of them coming back later which would mean more surgery.
We’ve come away with a bucket collar and a ten-day supply of pain killers. We’ll take her for a post op check up on Friday, and the stitches will come out in about ten days. As the wound is so big, they may well take out every other one first, and the rest a couple of days later.

She’s had a little bit of chicken tonight and is just wanting to sleep. We’ve put her duvet on the floor to stop her having to get up into the chair, with several other layers underneath to keep off the chill. She started to shiver, so I put my jumper over her, and she’s slept solid for 2 hours. She’s turned round now and is actually lying on top of it, her head in the sleeve and her front feet curled round the rest.
I’m sleeping down here with her tonight as she won’t be able to manage the stairs and I don’t want to run the risk of any accidents in the bedroom.

Before we came home, we officially registered with this surgery.
The total bill was over a hundred pounds less than they anticipated.
And as for Maggie’s rotten tooth? She still has it as it was just a build up of plaque and tartar, so whilst she was under, they gave her a descale and polish instead of an extraction.

maggie1
In the Cottage, December 2007

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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30 Responses to Worrying Wednesday

  1. Ritu says:

    Aw poor Maggie, and you all!
    Glad she is ok though, how worrying for you! ☺

    • I’m a born worrier, about pets especially. They can’t tell us what’s wrong, and when we found that lump, my mind went into overdrive though I kept telling myself not to over react. That’s like telling the tide not to come in.
      Still, she had good care today, but keeping her quiet and calm for a couple of days is going to be a challenge!
      Hubby is OK, saw the doc yesterday and got some more meds. More blood tests this week, but at least they are following up and looking after him too.

  2. Espirational says:

    You guys have really been through it, haven’t you? Wishing you all the best.

  3. colinandray says:

    Like our doctors, some are very good and some are …………..??? When we got Ray and were looking for a vet, we went to see the one just around the corner (really convenient!), but their attitude was total indifference so we went elsewhere. We have had a number of hard decisions to make with Ray (before the blog started, but are covered in his book), so I could really feel your concerns (and frustrations) when reading this Post. Give Maggie a special rub (wherever is available!). 🙂

    • Thanks Colin. Vet care is important to us which is why we ended up using one 35 miles away when we lived in Lincolnshire. They were brilliant, as were the guys in Bournemouth. It makes a difference as our pets pick up on our anxieties, and I know I’m terrible because I worry so much. These past few weeks have been awful with worrying about Hubby and then making the decision to go ahead. She’s curled up on my jumper now, having had a nice long drink so that is another good sign. I’ve stroked her head on your behalf. She’s sleeping, her breathing slow and regular, bless her.

  4. Oh my. What a week you’ve had. First a good vet is hard to find and worth their weight in gold – no matter their age. Good to find one that sounds sensible and that you are comfortable with. (We’ve had some trials with our current one and are looking around again.)
    Healing wishes sent (for man and beast). Stay warm little Maggie and rest (you want them to feel better, but when they do keeping them calm is so hard)
    (Oh wanted to let you know the German seems to be over whatever it was and is happy as a lark. Whew!)
    Take care – all of you

    • Thank you so much for your kind wishes. Glad to know the German is OK. We do so worry about our pets don’t we.
      Hubs is on the mend too, more medication and more blood tests, but the Doc is getting him sorted.

  5. DM says:

    definitely payed to get a second opinion (not in terms of $ but just plain good will and common sense from your 2nd vet) Glad all of you are on the mend 😉

  6. Poor Maggie. I can feel your pain too. A few years ago my old cat Jake kept getting abscesses behind his ears that would burst with stinky pus. My vet insisted he was fighting with cats. He hardly ever went out and there were no strays in the neighborhood. I got a second opinion and it turned out that he had a yeast infection in his ear and was scratching so hard that he would get infected sores that closed over and abscessed. It has to feel right to you. If it doesn’t, you try someone else. Sounds like it all worked out with your boat mates on the mend. Now you need a nice nap. Hugs to you all.

  7. Here’s hoping that the next few weeks go better than the last few seem to have gone!

  8. tildy1 says:

    I’m glad everyone is ok. Having a compassionate vet is a plus isn’t it?!

  9. scifihammy says:

    Gosh, you have had a rough time lately – Sorry I didn’t know; I’m just not around as much.
    So glad that your husband did not have a heart attack, and that Maggie has come through her ordeal. Dogs have amazing recovery abitilites, so I am sure she will be back to normal in no time.
    Little Monkey is also 10 years old, and developed lumps on her tummy area, tho spayed as a puppy before I got her. So far, they are just fatty deposits, but, like you, I keep an eye on them all.
    Finding that second vet was really lucky. You have to have someone who is sympathetic to you and your pet, and not all gung ho. My favourite vet here is 76 years old!
    Wishing you all the best and some hassle free weeks ahead. Keep us posted. 🙂

    • Thanks.I haven’t been posting the bad stuff until I knew all was OK. I’m glad we’re here in the house as it’ll be easier for Maggie’s recovery rather than in and out of the boat all the time. Our host has been most supportive and we’ve had several emails already asking how she is. It’s so good to have friends, even more so when they understand isn’t it.

  10. The Hook says:

    Our dog, Chelsea, goes on on Monday for dental surgery.
    I can’t wait for it to be over…

  11. Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:

    I am reblogging this as , four years on, we are in a similar position.
    Maggie had her ultrasound today, no problems with that in itself, but it did reveal a sac in her uterus which is full of pus. She has been given a heavy injection today, another due for tomorrow, and a third on Tuesday. Apparently it is imperative that thee are carried out on day 1, 2 and 7. We can expect a massive discharge over the weekend as they are forcing a season to expel the sac and infection. She is also on a 14 day course of antibiotics. If this works (and it has for other dogs so is not a trial, test or ”experimental’ treatment, there is still a chance it will come back. If it doesn’t work, our option is surgery to have her spayed.
    Maggie is 15 and otherwise healthy and fit for her age. The vet doesn’t seemed concerned about another anesthetic.
    I would stress here that it is NOTHING to do with money. We just want the best for our baby. Thoughts?

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