Soolin update

Sadly, Soolin’s real 7th birthday gift was to undergo surgery to remove a fatty deposit which had been growing at an alarming rate over the last several years. We first noticed it three years ago when it was a small golf ball-sized lump in her armpit. By March this year at her checkup it was mango+ sized, and when they finally removed it Monday last week it was three pounds and about the size of a football sliced in half.

If I could do it over again I would have asked them to remove it last year, because when they removed it they discovered it had infiltrated the muscles under her arm and were not able to entirely excise it. Still, they took ~3 pounds and the overwhelming majority out. The hope now is that it won’t recur. The infiltration of the muscle works against this unfortunately, but the odds aren’t terrible (~40% is what google tells me) and even if it does, hopefully it will grow at a slower pace.

By and large her recovery from the surgery has been messy and unpleasant for her but relatively smooth. She has staples along an incision that runs from her armpit to her navel, and she had two drains installed which protected her from too much fluid collecting in the void left by the excised tumor. I had to apply hot compresses twice a day to the region and keep her dressed in a tshirt to help corral the bleeding. Her first day she barely moved and was in obvious discomfort (and on painkillers to help with it) but by the second day she was starting to perk up and move about, and seemed even better on the third day. Unfortunately she had a relapse possibly caused by us letting her go for too long of a walk that began on the 4th day and had her bleeding fairly heavily at times and again becoming immobile with discomfort. This lasted a couple of days. She had her drains removed last night and seems to be doing well – she tried to roll around in the leaves this morning when I took her out, throughout it all her appetite has been strong, and she’s starting to show signs of her normal playfulness. I’m fairly optimistic at this point. She’s still leaking from the areas where the drains were, but the flow is significantly less.

So…could have been better, but could have been much much worse, so all things considered I’m thankful that it’s looking good, and she handled it well throughout. I’ll post a few pics to the gallery with the warning that a couple of them might be disturbing.

The ectasy and the agony

So let me just get this out of the way – my golden retriever Soolin is the greatest dog ever. Today’s proof is here:

my dog Soolin leaping into the pool

this despite the fact that she’s got arthritic hips so creaky she sometimes has trouble making it up stairs, and a fat deposit under her front right armpit that causes her gait to be way out of whack*. So you get the full picture, here’s her sticking the landing:


and paddling immediately on over to retrieve the tennis ball:

paddling over to her ball

so, that’s the good news. My dog is fricking cool and possessed of an indomitable will to enjoy herself. The bad news? She pays the price:

This is after it had healed a bit. It got her on both sides, her neck, and her back.

She got hotspots so badly on her cheeks that we had to pay the vet to shave her for us – she wouldn’t let us near them because they were so uncomfortable. She was diagnosed with a yeast infection in both ears at the same time. All told she’s on two oral medications, some goop that goes in her ears twice a day, and a topical spray that goes on the wounds 3 times a day.

My poor, fabulous, glorious Soolin. There’s no stopping her no matter the consequences.

*(she’s going in for surgery to have that removed sometime in the next month or so)