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Shortly before Christmas Shooter was limping and his leg was severely swollen. Since he is extremely allergic to bug bites, I assumed he had met a spider that didn’t like him. After a couple days of prednisone the swelling went down and I noticed two small lumps that seemed to be bug bite area. When they didn’t disappear after a couple of weeks we went in to the doctor. X-rays of the bone looked great so our next step was a biopsy which came back as a mast cell tumor. We were totally unprepared for this and it knocked our feet out from underneath us. An appointment was set for an ultrasound and further biopsy of the liver, spleen and lymph node. The good news? It was localized. The bad news? Our only viable option was amputation.

Shooter is 12-1/2 years old, but is a small dog and very active and healthy with no other aches or pains. We either had to make the bad choice (amputation) or the worse choice (let it run its course). Choice #1 won out and on 1/28/13 he had his left front leg removed.

The look of panic on his face as I left him at the clinic almost turned me back around, but my head knew what I was doing was for the best. The next three days were very hard as the clinic was 107 miles from our home and the communication from the vet was very limited. To all vets – please keep in close contact with your patient’s human. No news may be good news, but it doesn’t make us feel any better. We need encouragement.

I brought him home on 1/30. I could tell he was glad to be home, but seemed so depressed. The one thing that encouraged me was his obvious excitement to eat. There was no lack of appetite on his part and as long as the pills come wrapped in Velveeta he’s excited.

On Thursday, he still was very blah. He cam home with a compression bandage on and I noticed that it seemed to be restricting his movements. Both Gene and I felt he would be so much more comfortable without it, but had to wait till the next day so our local vet could remove it and make sure all looked good with the incision. When the bandage was removed it had caused the area around the incision to fold over (it was scootching up and choking him some also). No wonder he was uncomfortable. When my husband brought him home, he ran directly out the doggy door (which he would not go near prior to that) and did his thing in the yard.

It is now Sunday (tomorrow being a week since we took our first step on this road) and he is 100% better. The incision area still has the fold in it and there has been some seeping, but his attitude improves a bit each day. The staples come out on 2/11 and I think his attitude will improve again on that day.

This web site has been a great help as the vets did not provide us with a lot of information on helping him adapt and how best to take the next fork in the road. So our journey begins and we learn as we go.

5 Responses to “The road not on the map”

  1. jerry says:

    Hi Shooter & family, we’re glad you found us. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this cancer situation but we’re here to help make it easier so whatever we can do, don’t hesitate to ask. Be sure to post in our Forums too, where you’ll find help from lots of folks who might not check into the blogs as often as the Forums.

    That’s too bad that your vet didn’t communicate, I know that had to have been sooo hard on your people. I’m glad everything turned out fine.

    Oh I want to add that although you are 12.5 years young (pawesome!), your size and spunk will take you far. No fears, Shooter, you’re gonna do just great.


  2. admin says:

    Welcome and thank you for sharing Shooter’s story! best wishes for his complete speedy recovery.

  3. CassieWassie says:

    Congrats to Shooter for making such a great progress, and big pat on your back for making the brave decision! Looking forward to reading more pawsitive news from Shooter’s pack in the coming days 🙂

  4. princess says:

    I like your title – “the road not on the map”. Perfect description of the place none of us wants to find ourselves in! It certainly wasnt on our map either. Wishing Shooter a good recovery.

  5. fetchon3 says:

    One week down and 100% already? You are a young 12.5 year old pup. Keep it up, Scooter! It sounds like you’re well on your way to a beautiful recovery!

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