Monday, June 18, 2012

Pug skin lumps and bumps

Liam the pug recovering in his dog bed
Liam recovering after his big day
For the past month, I've been obsessively worrying over a small bump I found right behind Liam's left ear. As I detailed in this post, I lost my first dog to cancer that started with the tiniest of bumps, and I didn't know if I could handle losing little Liam to the same disease. I also didn't want to be one of those freakish owners who takes her dog to the vet for each and every teeny, tiny problem. So I opted to watch the spot closely, and come in if a month passed and it hadn't gone away.

The month flew by, and the spot didn't grow bigger or smaller. It stayed attached only to the outer layer of the skin, sort of like a skin tag, and it didn't seem to cause Liam any pain at all. It didn't go away, either, even though I kept hoping that it would.

So this morning, we went in for our appointment. I was dreading this, as Liam is a rambunctious, happy pug that tends to draw squeals of delight from everyone he meets. Each squeal makes him even more excited, which causes more squealing, which causes more excitement in an endless cycle of increasing frenzy until I am desperately holding on to a wriggling, screaming dog that is unable to breathe. Much as I ask the staff to refrain from exciting the dog, they can't seem to help themselves. I had no idea what would happen if he ended up with something serious and had to come in for repeat visits. I didn't know if his heart could take it.

After a brief exam and a minimal amount of shrieking, the veterinarian came up with a surgical plan and I left him there for a few hours to try to work at home. It seemed awfully quiet here without him snoring at my feet, but I did my best. As soon as the staff called and told me he was ready to come home, I sped over to the office to pick him up. I had visions of him shrieking in his cage, surrounded by adoring staff, so I nearly ran the 10-plus blocks to the office.

Turns out, I needn't have worried. Poor Liam was pretty drugged up from the ordeal. He was so drugged up that I had to carry him back to the house. While 23 pounds might not seem very heavy, 23 pounds of dead weight held in your arms in the sunshine for 10 or more blocks is quite a workout. I don't recommend it for the faint of heart.

Now he is sleeping comfortably. The veterinarian tells me I should have nothing to worry about with this bump, but worry I will. Those of us who get it, and who have been down this path before, always worry.