Friday, March 9th
We discover a small lump on Reveille’s right side, we notify breeder & take him to our vet.
Initial diagnosis thought to be a deep muscle bruise.
Antibiotic (Amoxicillin) is prescribed to prevent possible infection / abcessing.
We are told to bring him in for a second look if it doesn’t get better in 10 days.
Reveille seems to show no signs of pain or discomfort from this hard lump.
March 11th through March 17th
Reveille’s spirits are up.
He is active, but kept isolated from play with the others to protect the lump.
By the week’s end he seems to be eating less. Thinking it is due to the antibiotic’s effect on his digestive tract we increase the amount of Acidophillus he is receiving.
Sunday, March 18th
John makes note that Reveille seems to be losing his appetite. Rachel agrees.
We still feel it is a possible antibiotic side effect. There seems to be no change in the lump.
Tuesday, March 20th
Reveille is crated in Vari-Kennel crate while Rachel takes Star in for a vet visit.
When Rachel returns she finds his left hip is swollen and he is limping.
Our first thought is that he twisted his leg in the crate. (Although a tough thing to do, it is the only scenario we can come up with.) Breeder is notified.
Rachel schedules an appointment at the other vet in our area. (Due to recent heart surgery, our key vet is not working afternoons.)
The alternate vet looks at the hip and back leg and believes it is some kind of sprain. He looks at the lump and concurs it thoughts of it being a deep bruise, comments if it doesn't get better in a few months we may wish to have it biopsied.
Antibiotic (Cephalexin) and anti-inflammatory/pain killer (Rimadyl) is prescribed.
We opt to refuse Rimadyl as of the side effects it can have.
Do not use antibiotics due to Reveille’s increasing desire not to eat.
March 21st through March 24th
Watching Reveille he walks stiffly but still seems eager to get up and go out.
John & Rachel rub his hips each night with liniment and give him several warm baths hoping to help the stiffness.
His lump seems to get smaller at times then seems bigger. We believe it may be due to the way he stands.
March 25th through March 26th
Over the weekend we note that Reveille's gait is not getting better.
In fact, he is starting to “droop” in the back end as if his back legs are having trouble holding him up. Does not put much weight on rear left leg anymore.
Also note that he does not want to stand much or go out. Reveille is refusing to eat, even when offered some of his favorite snacks. He is beginning to cry late at night. John usually goes to Reveille to rub his hip. This calms Reveille and helps him go back to sleep.
With no improvement with either the lump (now about the size of a tennis ball) or his limp (he is having trouble walking and standing), Reveille is taken to our key vet.
He looks at the lump and hip then instantly suspects a connection.
Blood tests are taken and an appointment is made for X-rays (Right side, Left Hip/Hips & Chest) and a biopsy.
The vet states that he has ‘difficulty” hearing Reveille’s heart from the right side of his chest.
The vet fears it -could be- cancer.
Breeder is notified. That night Reveille cries several times, John lays with him for comfort.
The blood report is in
Though there is nothing specific, the report does mention “unusual platelets”. [MORE ABOUT PLATELET REPORT] The vet says this simply means there is no confirmation in the report.
Reveille is sedated for X-rays. At the time of the shot, a second small lump is found on Reveille's left shoulder. The X-rays show the first lump is not part of the bone.
However, the X-rays do show a large mass in front of Reveille’s heart. [CHEST X-RAY]
The mass is actually larger than his heart and is pushing it to the left. (Other notes from the X-rays are below.)
Two sections are biopsied from the right tumor. During the removal, the vet notes that the lump bled heavily, and had trouble clotting. (It is considered a possible effect of the “unusual platelets”.)
Reveille has trouble coming out of the sedation. He finally wakens in the evening.
Reveille's back end is continuing to decline as he has great difficulty moving around at all. Considering that he is in continual pain (even with Rimadyl which we are now giving him) no longer eating & he is refusing to get up the hard decision is made to release him from his failing body. Notify breeder.
In the morning a third lump, the size of a penny, is found on the left side of Reveille's neck. The second lump, discovered yesterday, has grown to the size of a golf ball.
The initial lump is now almost the size of a softball. Reveille is put to rest. He is free from his pain and deteriorating body. Notify breeder.
The biopsy returns. [BIOPSY RESULT]- Large jpg of document
The vet is astounded at the amount of cancer found in the lump and states that putting Reveille to rest was the best thing. Even with treatment Reveille would not have lasted very long. Breeder notified.
It is still astounding to think how quickly Reveille went down hill.
From an (outwardly) healthy pup to a crippled, weakened dog in less than three weeks as cancer ravaged his body and filled him with pain.
Other medical notes:
Reveille lacked his 13th rib. There were spots on Reveille's lungs which can been seen on chest x-ray.
Reveille's hip xray showed some subluxation.