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I'd like a second opinion...

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Nukawin, Mar 8, 2017.


  1. Nukawin

    Nukawin PetForums Member

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    Hey all. I have no idea if anyone would remember me. I used to be around here a few years ago, but after the loss of my German Shepherd, I couldn't remain a part of the forum...

    Much has happened since (I lost Tucker, another dog, and Steve, my Skink, last year, and we rescued another dog, Kolo, at Christmas), though I have come back because I really would like a second opinion on a recent situation. I am really scared.

    Whoever remembers me will remember one of my few dogs, Ripley. Around two weeks ago, I booked him in for surgery to have a small lump removed from his nose.

    [​IMG]
    This is him 24 hours after surgery. He also had a tiny biopsy done on his chin.

    The results of the lump came back as a Subcutanous Mast Cell Tumor; Cancer. My vets don't know much about the Subcutanous tumors (they said these tumors were quite rare) and are currently looking into it more. Ripley himself was doing fine, eating/drinking well and generally being the dork that he is.

    The itching drove him insane and he did end up licking a hot spot onto the area, which we got more medication for.

    [​IMG]

    Monday past, he got his stitches out, but we were told to keep the cone on a few days more. Tuesday morning... I noticed his wound had reopened.

    [​IMG]

    Terrified, I called the vets and arranged for him to be examined again. That evening, they decided they were going to leave the wound opened, and allow it to heal on its own. I was given some gel, and instructions to wash the wound, and apply the gel, 3-4 times a day.

    I have to be honest, I am scared about leaving the wound open. Ripley, although a goofball, isn't a fan of restraint or being poked/prodded. Thankfully he's not aggressive but he struggles a lot, so it does make my job harder.

    I'm scared to leave it open though because Ripley LOVES tracking. He loves using his nose, and the cone alone was annoying, but now that the wound is opened, I'm too scared to let him do any exploring around our field. He lives with two other dogs, his brother, Milo (his twin), and our newest addition, Kolo (the tri-coloured scruff). All three do like to rough and tumble.

    [​IMG]

    I have an appointment with the vets tomorrow for a check up, but I wanted a second opinion on their choices, and perhaps suggestions/advice from people who have been through a similiar situation. I'm really scared about leaving this wound open. I practice taxidermy and I know what under the skin looks like, I'm pretty sure I can see Ripleys skull through that wound, or at least the top of his nasal bones.

    His personality has not changed in any way, and his appetite is fine. Additionally, I'd like some suggestions on what to add to his food to encourage wounds to heal? The vets said that because this lump was cancerous, the surgical area may take longer to heal. I just want him to get better so he can go back to rolling in questionable heaps of mud and dirt because they smell nice to him. (the last thing he rolled in was badger poo, thankfully this was before the surgery). I should be concerned about the cancer, and I am... but my #1 concern is making sure Ripley's wound heals. :(
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    No advice to offer as no experience of this, but hope someone can offer some help.

    Fingers crossed Ripley heals quickly!
     
  3. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

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    I know that you can get a kind of paint-on 'skin' to cover human wounds but I don't know if you can get anything similar for dogs.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  4. Maggyd

    Maggyd PetForums Junior

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    When I was bitten by a big dog when we were in Holland they left the wound open and just squirted it with saline but they did cover with a damp gorse . If you can I would put the collar back on for a couple of days so he cant get muck in it nosing around like they do and ask the Vet if you should try to keep it clean somehow.
     
  5. Muttly

    Muttly Fluffy Mutts Rule!

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    I really would try to keep it covered, it's only a short while as annoying as it must be for him. But you want it to heal.

    You have a beautiful furry family btw :)
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  6. mollypip

    mollypip PetForums Senior

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    My vet uses honey for every wound and its a true miracle the speed it heals. I've used it many times on my dogs and most recently to aid healing with a toe amputation, my lab had squamous cell carcinoma in her toe and had to have it amputated. Can't recommend it highly enough.
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  7. Nukawin

    Nukawin PetForums Member

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    Hello all! I figured I should come back and give you guys an update.

    Ripley went to see the vet, who said the wound (at that time) was fine, and healing well on its own. Although, she explained that the expert involved in the biopsy revealed that there appeared to be inflammation cells around the edges of the original lump, so they think they left a bit of cancer behind. To be safe, they want to remove more. In addition, they also decided they wanted to take lymph nodes to test them.

    In the mean time, I continued to give Ripleys wound a bath three times a day for over a week. Today, Ripley went in for his second surgery. Thankfully he did just as well as the first time, and he's back home being the tinker that he is! I won't know anything until next week, but for now, Ripley has three wounds I need to monitor.

    On a sadder note, Kolo is back to being a little douche towards Ripley. I'll ellaborate on this.

    When Ripley came home from his first surgery, Kolo begun to react aggressively towards him. For a few days I isolated Ripley from the others to protect his wounds, and with the vets consent, I let him mingle with his pack mates. His brother, Milo, was totally fine with Ripley...Kolo on the other hand went in for the attack. Thankfully he didn't get very far before he was quickly scolded, but for long enough after that, he avoided Ripley, and growled/snapped if Ripley approached.

    However after a while, Kolo came round and soon was back to his normal self, and was back to being friends with Ripley. We put this down to him being frightened of the cone. Ripley has been wearing the cone for almost 4 weeks now, and Kolo has seen it on/off him at times.Today, when Ripley came home, Kolo went back to being a little nasty piece of work.

    I'm doing what I did at the start, keeping Ripley separate to protect his wounds. I'm 100% confident that Milo won't be a problem, he never was a problem to his brother... but Kolo reacting again has me frustrated because I don't understand WHY, or how to deal with it in a more permanent way? (basically, get Kolo to a point where he'll stop reacting so negatively towards another dog thats had surgery).

    Currently I'm just holding onto the hope that Kolo will get over it like he did before and go back to playing with Ripley like they used to. A tiny part of me thinks he's acting territorial but I'm not totally sure. He's a puppy still, not even a year old yet! (He'll be one in April)
     
  8. leashedForLife

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    Kolo isn't a puppy; he's an 11-MO small dog, & as big as he'll ever get. He's also an adult - as far as Nature is concerned. All his bones are calcified, nothing left to be changed from cartilage to bone. He's a grown-up.
    If he's still intact, i'd get him snipped - ASAP. If he's already desexed, he's being a real twit, & needs to be carefully monitored & / or separated from his recovering housemate.
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  9. Nukawin

    Nukawin PetForums Member

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    Kolo is definitely intac. Ripley and Milo were neutered between 7-9 months old, but after a few years I had read new studies that said neutering too young was actually more counter-productive to the dogs health... So when we got Kolo and I learned he was still intac I decided to give him a chance to mature.

    Having him castrated is definitely planned, but tbh I was waiting for him to turn 18 months old. I guess that may not happen, huh?
    His behaviour is odd though. He's extremely friendly and social with the brothers, and was okay with Ripley when he left for check ups... It just seems that if Ripley is gone for hours, then comes back, he's a complete stranger and Kolo gets hostile. Suppose it's the scent of the vets? :S (Kolo is okay with the vets, we've had him there for a check up when we first got him and he was real friendly).

    The good news is all three of them are housed side-by-side, but can't physically interact with each other unless I let them. So Kolo, as much as he wants to be a douche, can't touch Ripley at this time. I've avoided letting Rip and Milo interact since Rips new wounds are fresh, but after a few days those two can be allowed together. Kolo I don't trust because of the first time he was allowed to interact with Rip after surgery.

    I wanna wait until Ripleys wounds heal enough so that he doesn't need stitches or the cone anymore, then I can focus on getting Kolo fixed.
     
  10. Nukawin

    Nukawin PetForums Member

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    Follow up (sorry for double posting).

    Ripley had his second surgery on Thursday (as previously mentioned). I had to replace his cone yesterday as the one he got from the vets lasted well over 3 weeks, but finally cracked. Literally.

    Tonight I had to make minor changes to the cone, removing its old clips and replacing them with cable ties since Ripley kept bumping it into things, causing it to pop the clips.

    Anyway, here's a photo of his wound I took tonight. He sat patiently for a piece of toast, like the food monger he is!

    [​IMG]

    The wound has left his nose obviously disfigured, and it's going to be an equally obvious scar when it does heal, but if it means that they've got all the remaining cancer cells out of that area, then I don't care how badly scarred he's left!

    Thankfully Ripley is taking it in his stride. Kolo also appears to be nicer to him but I haven't allowed them to mingle yet. Rips has a check up tomorrow, he won't be impressed going back to the vets! He's come to really dislike them since this all began. :/
     
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  11. leashedForLife

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    sugg:
    Make "nothing happens" visits to not just Ur own vet clinic, but ANY vet clinic - sit in the waiting area, ask if U can use the scale for a body-wt update, work on hand cues, etc, & reward him for all NON-reactive behavior - anything that's not dragging U to the door, giving the staff the Evil Eye, growling & cursing, etc, gets rewarded.
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    Don't be cheap - pay out in small but very high-value tidbits, such as cubed cheese [low fat / low salt e-g, Provo, grated Mozz, cut-up Mozz sticks, lickables like Neufchatel or Ricotta, etc], cubed skinless / boneless chicken breast, lean beef, turkey, pouch or tinned tuna / chkn-brst / salmon / jack mackerel, etc.
    Rewards should be pea-sized to 1/2-pea sized, but given frequently for any polite or co-operative behavior - such as walking him in & out the door 3 or 4 X in succession, & rewarding EVERY entry... U get the drift?
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    He just needs the # of happy visits to outnumber the "very very unpleasant" visits in his memory.
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    Lurcherlad likes this.
  12. Nukawin

    Nukawin PetForums Member

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    Another follow-up post! If anyone wants more regular updates I'm on Instagram under Tiffanois (I post pretty frequently there, especially Rips updates!)

    A couple of days after my last post I allowed the dogs to mingle again, and thankfully Kolo wasn't hostile at all. He seemed quite happy to be allowed to interact with Ripley again, so I'm relieved that all has settled there! (He's still getting neutered though!)

    As for Rips test results. As stated the vets took two Lymph Nodes from his neck (to check if the cancer had spread) and they took more from the original site (as the last had inflamed margins). I got the news last week and it's great - The Lymphs are clear, and the extra from the site is also clean! So I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that Ripley is Cancer free :)!

    That said, I am prepared for the chance it might pop up again. Right now, I'm just glad that he's over the worse of this and can finally focus solely on recovering!

    He had another check up today, but I think this was the final straw for him as he's now started trying to bite the vets. I'm not surprised really, he's been through A LOT in such a short space of time. Since they couldn't take his stitches out (they couldn't get near his face) he's booked in for sedation on Friday to have them removed. I'm disappointed but it can't be helped. Honestly I really hope the wound has closed this time!

    In the mean time enjoy a few personal faves from photos I took of the Trio the other day! I ripped them from my Tumblr page (hence the watermark XD)

    [​IMG]
    The Brothers teamed up to get the ball from Kolo (they didn't succeed XD)

    [​IMG]
    Ripley rolling in the grass. He learned this from Kolo and really seems to enjoy it as he does it a lot more than Kolo now. xD

    [​IMG]
    Milo cooling off in a mud puddle!

    [​IMG]
    Kolo eyeing up Milo's ball before he stole it after the pic.. (he's never happy with just ONE ball.. He has to have ALL THE BALLS!)
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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