THE Mass

I posted on Tad's FB wall yesterday that he's had this mass growing on his left side for about a month now. It's a strange looking fellow, but we decided to watch it for a week or two and see what happens. Here we are, a month later and it's still there...very slowly getting bigger, but really...doesn't seem to bother him.

Two different types of masses/growths came to mind immediately, Mast Cell Tumor and Histiocytoma.

Mast Cell Tumors are a type of cancer. They can look like anything and are scary little devils.

Histiocytomas are very common in young dogs, and they will generally 'fall off' on their own. No need to worry with them.

We decided to go ahead and aspirate the growth to get some cells and look under the microscope. We can usually diagnose these two types of tumors without issue here in the clinic.

However, Tad is NOT a very good patient...especially when you come at his man-area with a needle.

You're going to put that needle where!?
 We didn't get a very good sample from the mass, so our cytology was inconclusive. Figures.

So, now I'm trying to decide if I should go ahead and remove it or leave it alone. Let me explain why I don't just 'rip the thing off'...then perhaps together we can make an educated decision.

IF it's a Histiocytoma, there's no reason to knock him out and remove it. In a few months, it'll fall off on it's own and not only will we save money, we won't have to put him under.

IF it's Mast Cell and we wait (because we think it's a Histiocytoma) it can and likely will spread. You never want to wait to remove Mast Cells, especially when you make them angry by poking them with a needle.

It could also simply be a cyst...which would be GREAT. However, if we go mashing and squeezing the heck out of it to get it to pop...and it's a Mast Cell...then we run the risk of making things a lot worse.

So, you see my predicament?! I will probably just knock the silly boy out and remove it...but, then...I'd probably try again to get the turd to sit still long enough and not bite so we can get a better sample. :/

Here's the picture of his little friend, we shall call him, Martin the Mass. ;)

Martin the Mass


Training Update

Michael and I have a 'journal' that we talk to each other back and forth about Tad and his behavior good or bad. You guys already know that I don't share a lot of things regarding problematic...adventures, and you know why. We won't go into that again. :) However, after an incident today, at home, Michael is leaning more towards what are called SEC (sudden environmental change) triggers. Basically, sudden changes around Tad trigger him to get upset...naturally, of course. I don't like sudden change either. Well, really...I don't like change at all. :/

The problem with training or counter-conditioning this behavior is that there are soooo many triggers that fall into the SEC category as well as variables. It could be a dog, a human, a cat, a child...remember that turtle? So, basically...Tad needs undivided attention to capture him doing all the right things and heavily praise on those behaviors. We are to look at every interaction as potentially being a problem and work even harder on his biting, which he still does...a lot. :/ He is very obedient unless he's in bananas-mode, you know...like going bananas...? ...so, we also need to work on his basic obedience and recall...which the only dogs that are ANY good at that are Chica and Chino. :/

As I already stated, I am only bringing one dog to work a day...which is super lonely and boring, but now all the clients are asking where the other dogs are...but, oh well...you do what you gotta do. Tad's scheduled days to be at the clinic are Monday and Saturday, of course. Saturday is Tadurday, you know!?

We may also be spacing Tad's visits with Uncle Michael further apart now, as his funds for training are gone. Thankfully, Uncle Michael is awesome enough that he understands and is willing to work this out so it can still be done. Kudos to you, sir.

Tad - Pet Fest 2011


Silence Is Not Always Golden

...many of you know that I drive a Tahoe, named Jemima. I often refer to her as Jemima, too. This may or may not have caused some confusion in MANY of you.

This is Jemima, who is currently awaiting reconstructive surgery to replace her front end as she's a death trap right now. Super fun to drive! She's all over the place...but, that's totally besides the point.

Guinea Pig Shaped Car - Dobby
Sooo, for the past week to a week and a half I've been driving my mom's car...it's shaped like a guinea pig. No lie. Anyway, it's just a bit...only just a bit, you know...smaller than Jemima, but I've been able to still fit all (now 4) dogs into it to come to work.

Things are well...it's a fun car to drive...like a little go cart. Buuuut, free handouts are only temporary. They need their car back...

Suzy Pup
So, Suzy Pup, will be out of surgery soon...she needed an extensive brain surgery...but, she'll be back home sometime this week. Basically, that means...that I will be driving Suzy Pup while Jemima is having surgery herself. Suzy Pup is not nearly as fun to drive...but is less embarrassing than the guinea pig shaped car. BUT...the biggest problem...? It's only a two-seater. :/

...when there were three dogs, we could cram into this divine little hunk of junk, but now that there are 4 dogs...and a human, I'm not entirely sure how 'safe' that would be...especially with my driving.

So, we've resorted to bringing only one dog a day to work at a time...most depressing, I know! But, really...it may work out in Tad's favor with his behavior and training. It may make it worse considering there's less time to work with him...but, Michael insists I expect a great deal out of my dogs...and I never realized it until he said it.

I do expect a very high level of behavior from them, and for Walker and Chica, it's a no-brainer. For Tad, being a no-brainer...it's a bit more difficult.

Today is Tuesday, and that makes it Chica's day to be at work...it was hard leaving Tad, Walker, and Chino at home...but, maybe next week it'll be easier once these old habits die down.

It's incredibly quiet here without Tad...not to mention boring... :/ ...silence is not always golden.


Change in Treatment

We have finally decided to switch Tad's Demodex Mange treatment to Ivermectin. We are able to purchase it through our distributors, so that's nice.

Tad is losing more and more hair. I'll be honest; I did tell him that he had to at LEAST keep his hair until Pet Fest was over and done with. Then, if he wanted to strip down again, he is more than welcome. I fear he may have taken me up on that. :/

He's got a naked streak on the bottom side of his tail and various patches all of his actual boddy of thinning hair.

He's not itchy, as Demodex does not itch until an infection sets in, so that's great. He's just...patchy. ...but that's okay, he was loved hairless, haired, and now he be loved half-n-half.

iWalk for Animals

Tad and I are participating in iWalk for Animals to help raise money for the Houston SPCA. You're able to walk whereever you wish, but it starts at 6pm this Sunday.

We've already reached our goal for sponsorships and even exceeded that goal. However, if you'd like to sponsor us, you can follow this link HERE. Be sure to click 'Support Tiffany' and NOT 'Make a Donation'.

I appreciate everyone's sponsorship and will hopefully get Charles recruited so we can get video of our walk!

If you'd like to walk with us, please send me an email and we can get that sorted out and planned!