Last week Wednesday, our dog groomer noticed a swollen anal gland on Charlie, our almost 10 year Bernese. No big deal we thought; at the previous grooming 6 weeks earlier, he had it then too. We took him to the vet, a technician drained it and he was fine.
So hubby took him the next day only to hear that this time there was nothing to drain because it was more of a mass. On Friday, he had a biopsy and some blood tests and Monday (yesterday) he went in for an ultrasound. We were told if it was cancer - and there was a 90% likelihood - the real issue would if it had spread. Anal gland cancer not spread in an otherwise health dog (not necessary as old as ours) has a two to three year survival rate. Well, given the average life expectancy of Bernese Mountain dogs, he has already overreached his but then so has his sister and we are hopeful, both will make it another year or so.
Well the results of the biopsy says it is consistent with anal glad cancer but it still is not confirmed and the ultrasound shows it has not spread. However, the mass is leaning heavily against the colon. And if cancer has actually gone into the colon, it will be much more difficult to operate.
Thankfully, due to Madison (and Charlie's ACL tear surgery) we are already patients at the best vet clinic. Charlie will go Thursday for more scans and is already tentatively scheduled for surgery on Friday. Both, his regular vet and the oncologist feel that the biggest problem may not be the cancer but the length of the anesthesia required for such surgery. The surgeon scheduled is the same who pulled my daughter's dog through when everyone else had given up.
Madison had her check-up scan and is still cancer free but has now a large fat deposit tumor pressing on a nerve above her elbow. We hope we can with exercise and manipulation (ie. massage) of the leg to free the nerve so she will not need any anesthesia to remove it.
And then this morning, I got a call that my oldest son had a heart attack. He has been fighting pancreas problems for some time, which resulted in stomach problems. When feeling well, he would eat more and definitely junk food and has gained an enormous amount of weight. Always saying he lose it soon and always waiting for a magic bullet. He has been the last two years in and out of hospital and apparently no one can pin point what causes the pancreatic problems. I hope that a) this has scarred him enough to make some lifestyle changes and b) that he gets a proper diagnosis and can be treated accordingly.
I can only hope the rest of the week will be quieter. Please keep your fingers crossed.