Miles when I found three lumps – squishy ones on his back and belly, and what looked like a pimple that was twice the size it had been a week earlier. That, coupled with his increasing difficulty in getting up off the floor due to stiffness prompted an impromptu vet visit last night.
We got good news and bad news – good news: he doesn’t have cancer, he’s just fat. The lumps were ‘fatty deposits’ that were a combination of getting older and him being a lard ass. The ‘pimple’ was a cyst but nothing to worry about unless it doesn’t resolve in a week or two.
As for his stiffness, that’s the bad news. Miles has burgeoning hip dysplasia in both hips, and it’s causing stress on his bad knees as well. Luckily, the vet thought that him losing about 10 pounds, coupled with more EASY exercise and some OTC meds (anti-inflammatories, glucosamine + chondroitan, omega-3 fatty acids) should relieve many of his symptoms and surgery can be held off. Which is good, because with all of his other health problems, I’m not sure we’d spend the money on the surgery for him.
It’s a hard decision to make, but it’s not only hips – it’s all four knees which would have to be fixed too, and we simply can’t afford $10,000 for a dog who – while very lovable – is prematurely aging and probably won’t be around much longer. I hate thinking that we are already making decisions like that about him – sealing his fate, as it were – but it’s a necessary evil.
In any case, we can treat him and make him feel better, and since he seems generally happy (if a bit bored since we have been too busy to spend enough time with either dog), I hope that will be enough to help him enjoy his life with a minimum of pain.