Monday, August 28, 2017

Petting your Dog may Save His Life

Petting your dog may save his life.

Ernest is a good boy.
 A few weeks ago Ernest was at his therapy dog prep class. In between exercises my husband was petting him, stroking his fur like we both do numerous times a day. I'm sure you do with your dog, too. But this time he felt something different. A small bump near Ernest's shoulder.

Later that night he showed me. It looked like a mosquito bite. I didn't think anything of it at all.

Mike shows me the lump.

It's barely the size of a mosquito bite.
 A few days later we were at a vet appointment for our puppy. Ernest was with us. Mike happened to mention the bump to the vet. She looked, taking more interest in it than I thought, which surprised me. "I'll aspirate it and take a look," she said, inserting a small needle into the area. To be honest, my only thought at the time was, here goes our bill up, up, up!

The next night we received a phone call about 9pm. The vet.  "It's not benign," she said. I listened, barely believing her words. I thought Ernest was fine. He had no symptoms. And the bump was so small. But now the bump had a name: mast cell tumor.

Monday Ernest had surgery to remove the tumor.

Ernest's scar on his right shoulder.
 Tissue was sent for a biopsy. Stage 1 is a pretty good prognosis. Stage 2 could go either way. Stage 3 means it has already spread. The biopsy shows it is a stage 2 tumor.

None of us know how long we have. It's no different for Ernest. We're just going to give Ernest the best, happiest, most loving life we can, and the best health care within our means. We have a wonderful veterinarian we trust and we know that she'll take good care of us. We plan to continue with therapy dog classes (only one left and then he'll take his test!) and if he passes, Ernest will fulfill his destiny (we believe) to be a therapy dog.

Paw Power!

He's recovering from surgery well. The tumor has been removed. And all because my husband was petting him one night.

So petting your dog can save his life.

And you can bet, we'll be petting Ernest a lot.


  1. My hands are constantly all over my furbabies. I love to pet them for the sake of petting them, and they love the attention. But, I constantly watch for changes. Sending prayers for Ernest. Keep the faith!

  2. Peggy, So sorry. Our prayers are with you all that this goes a good way and never comes back. Though we've never had a Golden, we've had three grand doggy Goldens and, gosh, we just love them. We've not had one because they're pretty big guys, but so special that we go to CA (we live in the midwest) to doggy sit a Golden a Cairn when their humans go away. Big hugs to you and the family!!

  3. I'm glad you found it early, and also that your vet was so proactive. Anytime we find a new lump on one of our guys, our vet aspirates it. Sending lots of good thoughts that the vet got really clean margins and Ernest will live a wonderful, full life.

  4. yes, it is very important to go over every little area. i found Evie's b/t her paw. Evie just passed away, she had histiocytic sarcoma. we tried 4 different types of chemo and 1 new drug. nothing would stop the cancer. she defied the odds though, lived 8 mos, most dogs with this type of cancer die within a month or less. she just had a very strong will to live, she was a month shy of 16 yrs. i miss her so much. we also did the mushroom therapy supplements- 2 types which are very good for both humans and dogs with cancer. i found a tiny one on my other girl's ear and had it removed, it was not cancer though. Evie had 3 surgeries but they could not do radiation or any surgery where she had to go under anesthesia b/c of her other health issues and age. they just did local blocks and homeopathic to make her sleepy. i go to a homeopathic vet however, the cancer vet was not a homeopathic vet but said the supplements were excellent. are you going to do chemo or radiation on Ernest? my best wishes for
    everyone. the name of the mushroom therapies are Coriolus and Apocaps.

  5. I know first-hand how your stomach clenches when you're not sure what that bump is. My dog Soldier has a lot of lumps, but thankfully his are benign cysts. So far. I check him every night by petting him from nose to toes.


Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!