Mac is missing a fun Halloween event with the SPCA this weekend. And we're bummed.
Why? Because he's lumpy.
Dobermans as are prone to a couple of things. The affectionately-termed-yet-near-lethal "Dober-gas" is one of them. (case in point - Mac just farted and I had to leave the room so I didn't barf, which is not an exaggeration but an actual fact) The other item that's common for Dobes is darn near any issue that might pertain to skin.
When I first got Mac as a pup, he had a serious case of mange. Even after clearing that up, he's always been a bit itchy, which we attribute to mild allergies. And once upon a time, he had a tumor on his leg (we briefly thought we were going to have a tripod dog). We had the growth removed and tested, and it was benign, and so all was good in the world. For a few years.
This summer we were up at the in-law's lake-house and I noticed Mac had a tick on his leg. I did the match-stick thing (which according to this article apparently doesn't do any good, so that's nice to know), and nothing happened except my puppy winced a little. So I took a tweezers to it. Mac, being probably the best mannered dog ever, sat still while I tugged at the nubbin on his leg for few minutes. Until I realized it was a skin tag that was very much a part of my dog, and I should stop trying to rip it off. Lump number one.
Mac didn't make a peep while I did this. I can't even imagine someone pinching at my skin like that without socking them in the face. Good dog.
About a month after that, we noticed that one of Mac's ribs was sticking out of his side. Then we realized that it wasn't a rib, it was a grape sized lump just hanging out on his side. I took him to the vet for that and they told me they were 95% sure it was a fatty tumor (aka just a benign growth), but if I wanted they could aspirate it. By which I mean they could stick a giant needle into it and try and suck out the fat in the fatty tumor... except the tumor was *just* small enough that they weren't sure it would work and they'd probably have to really dig around in there with the needle.
Still feeling pretty guilty about the whole tick debacle, I decided to skip that unless it grows. So far, still just a grape-size bomb. Lump number two.
Then a few weeks ago, I note that Mac's got a bump on his muzzle. At first, I just assumed that Mac must have smacked his face into a door-jam, as he seems to have both zero understanding of where his face or tail are in respect to other immovable objects, and also the grace of a whack-a-mole game. Seriously, maybe once a day he turns his head of wags his tail and smacks it into a door frame or against a wall with such force I think "for SURE this time he broke his nose/ tail."
Does your dog smack his face into stuff?
Are you as weirded out by their lack of concern
over their self-harm as I am?
Tell me in the comments!
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The vet's answer was a very nonchalant "well, nose bumps are a bit concerning. It could be nothing... or it could be cancer."
SO WE WENT TO THE VET.
Honestly, who could possibly hear that and not just be paranoid about it until they get a more definitive answer?
Unfortunately that meant that this time the vet really DID have to fish around in his lump with their giant needle, because they needed some cells to analyze. Except this lump isn't on his side, it's on his NOSE. Can you imagine having to cross-eyedly (shut-up it's a word) watch someone jam a giant needle into your nose? 'Cause I sure can't without wanting to vomit a little. So what did Mac do? He winced a bit, and made a small whine noise when the tech squeezed it like a zit to get a "tissue sample," but he didn't try to move his head away, he kept his butt seated on the ground, and all around amazed the veterinary staff with his behavior.
Also he saved us over a hundred bucks for not having to sedate him to get that sample. So that was nice. And so we have Lump number three.
The samples were inconclusive. They didn't see any cancer cells, but they did spot a TON of white blood cells, so they put Mac on an anti-biotic. Our current best guess is that Mac was on the receiving end of a "high-five w/ claws" from Bubba, and that the scratch got infected. In any case, we're going to give it a few more weeks of these anti-biotics to see if we can't get it to go away. Fingers crossed for us.
The bummer of being on anti-biotics is not only that I am apparently the only person in the house capable of getting Mac to efficiently down a pill, but also that the vet recommended that he not have a whole lot of play time with other dogs until it heals up, since while he's on antibiotics he can't get his vaccinations renewed. So no Halloween party for Mac. But if you have a puppy, or you're in the market for one, that doesn't mean that you should skip Dog-O-Ween.
In any case, The Mister and I are happy to have a lumpy dog. so long as he's healthy.
As you can see, this latest lump is gigantic. Or not. But we're supposed to track it.
As I wrote this article, I couldn't help but think of this old flash game I found back when I was still a teen. I share it here just for that sake, but it's one of those horribly funny things that lets you know you're for sure going to hell. So, you know, forewarned and all.