Our sweetest old girl, Lily, was diagnosed with myxosarcoma a couple months ago.
She’ll be 13 next week and I debated about whether to put her through surgery given her age.
When I talked frankly with my veterinarian about it, he reminded me that she was overall a very healthy older dog — no arthritis, mobility issues, heart, liver, or kidney ailments. To be honest, I couldn’t take knowing she had cancer and doing nothing about it. So, the surgery was scheduled.
The surgery was deep and the veterinarian removed as much tissue as possible (trying to get those clean margins) and still give her 100% use of her limb. She was liquored up on pain meds for several days and had some nasty looking drains at the surgical site, but otherwise did remarkably well. And now she’s got a really cool Frankenstein scar on her leg that gives her a little more swagger.
She was given strict orders: no running, no jumping — leash walking only!
I obediently gave the doctor’s orders to Lily, but honestly, she paid me no mind. Don’t worry that I dragged the huge, ridiculously cushy dog bed from room to room so she could be comfortable without jumping onto the sofa. No, no — Lily said to me “It’s the sofa or nothing, lady.” The sofa it was.
We may or may not have spoiled her rotten during her recovery. She wears the badge of Cancer Survivor proudly and no longer listens to anything we tell her.
Seriously, I did my best to keep her quiet for two weeks (veterinarian prescribed three weeks, but I compromised with Lily — she wanted just one week…) and then let her have her way. My husband drives a diesel pick-up truck and the dogs know when he’s turned onto our street. They all go barking and running and jumping out to meet him. This was usually the hardest part of my day: keeping Lily calm and quiet during the mayhem, so she was quite excited when I finally allowed her (after two weeks of sheer hell, she tells me) to join in the fray.
My husband came into the house through the backyard where the dogs are contained and told me Lily was acting like a puppy again — more “puppified” than ever, he said! He joked “Tell that veterinarian to operate on her other leg next week — he shaved 8 years off her age!”
The official results.
The veterinarian said all five biopsies came back with no evidence of cancer, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’re in the clear.
We got an unexpected snow day here today, and that old lady held her own with the boys.
Go, Lily, go!
A HUGE thank you to the wonderful veterinarians, veterinary technicians and all the staff at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital who made this lovely update possible.
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