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Gavin's Never Ending Dotage (Part 2)

Discussion in 'Senior Sheltie Health' started by Cindy, Oct 1, 2022.

  1. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

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    I was tempted to call this 'the neverending story' but that might not be as easy to find for reference. And it has been 6 months.

    It was warm here this week, and Gavin stopped eating so much. I am seeing the trend very clearly now. We made it out to the beach, and then Gavin got a pedicure. On his bad paw, his 2 middle toenails curl under themselves. It takes a bit of manuevering and tools to get them in shape. I invariably hit a quick so must have the yellow stuff nearby!

    I have been pondering his wonderful lipoma on his hip this week. It is reasonably firm external growth (most of his lipomas are internal squishy lumps). The darn thing really started growing during Covid (so 2 and a half years), and in the past 6 months it has gone from half a lemon to half an orange. Surgery is always an option (probably sedation and a local since it is external) but at 17? So I ordered some neem oil (indian medicine seems to use it for lipomas). All I want is for it to get a little smaller and not get bigger. If it bursts then I will have no choice with regards to surgery and I really do not want to go there.
     
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  2. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Moderator

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    I agree surgery at his age and stage is questionable. I will be interested to see if the neem oil helps.
     
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  3. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

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    I have chickweed oil coming too.... apparently a neem oil and tumeric mask is the thing, but I can't bandage it and it will stain everything so we will wait on that. the lipoma basically fits in the palm of my hand and while it isn't a ball really, its is significantly smaller where it is attached to his body than its largest circumference. I wouldn't say it is like a stalk though (which would be super easy to get removed). More like it overflowed (up and out) its original location. I have never seen Gavin touch it or lick it thankfully (he can definitely reach it with his mouth). It is pretty much hairless, although he is so furry it is easy for there to be a comb over effect from his fur that obscures it.
     
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  4. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

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    the pics are not pretty.....it measures about 3 inches by 3.5 inches. the height is maybe 1-2 inches, it really fits nicely into my curved palm (I have small hands). His fur usually covers it naturally , and he does sleep on that side occasionally so it doesn't hurt him. I would just like it to stop growing or get a bit smaller. I have heard that you can inject them with steroids and sometimes it causes them to shrink. I wish I had asked about that when I was at the vet 6 months ago when it was smaller (she never mentioned an alternative to surgery when I brought up hesitancy for surgery). there is a slight red bit on it from an abrasion I guess....but it is actually smooth and has never had an bleeding or anything.

    IMG_8439.jpg IMG_8438.jpg
     
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  5. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Moderator

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    Generally they leave lipomas alone unless it is in a joint or in some way so large as to interfere with mobility. I've seen baseball size ones dangling from Labs....
     
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  6. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

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    I know, I just worry. Thing is, I always thought his internal ones would be the problem cause they can disturb important things. This one seems to be an almost entirely external protrusion (the attachment area is significantly smaller than the tumor circumference which would hopefully mean an easier removal). It does not dangle, btw, in fact I use it as a handle for my palm when I am steadying Gavin's hips. He has several bumps/lumps (I'd guess 6) in his chest that are sizeable which I thought would be more of an issue. And he has one in his groin area that I noticed during Covid as well.

    My main concern is that it might burst :( Apparently if they get too big the blood supply can be insufficient and they can necrotize/burst. I am measuring it so I can track the size better than estimating (lemon vs orange). It is about 10 inches in diameter. But we are definitely at baseball size. I don't want grapefruit size!
     
  7. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

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    exciting day! Gavin ate all of his breakfast as soon as I put it out. Maybe it really is weather dependent (it is in the 60s right now).
     
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  8. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

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    So looks like I might need to go help my Mother recovery from major surgery in the near future. I think my best option is to drive (its a 31 hour drive) with Gavin and stay for maybe 2 weeks. I worry about leaving Gavin for more than 4-5 days with a pet sitter (at his age, anything could happen, he could get depressed and stop eating) especially since a short stay could become a longer stay (like if I got COVID) and then where would I be. Besides, Gavin really wouldn't do anything different than at home (sleeping in dog beds vs the backseat of my car).

    my brother laughed at my plan, but then he doesn't have a 17 year old dog to take care of! He and his wife and kids have always had cats.
     
  9. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Moderator

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    Yikes Cindy I'm sorry that you are going to have to juggle all that! But you know what, I agree, leaving Gavin is not really an option. He did not do well the last time you did and routine means everything to senior dogs, particularly. Even though that's a heck of a drive, it probably is the best solution for everyone. Bad timing, for sure.
     
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  10. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

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    Thank You! I am getting lots of head shaking/disbelief/disapproving looks. I can't imagine the stress of taking care of Mom while worrying about Gavin (much less if something does go badly). And Mom might also enjoy having a cute cuddly dog around as well.

    waiting for biopsy and scan results to know next steps and timing....
     

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