Kobe and the Mysterious Lump.
It all started with a cabin trip over the May 24 long weekend. Fishing, hiking, ATV drives and swimming. All was good.
Flash forward one week and a lump the size of a golf ball had appeared on Kobe's neck. We touched the lump to see if it was causing any discomfort but Kobe was unbothered. His energy, appetite and bathroom trips were completely normal. Just to be sure, we made a vet appointment.
The same week we noticed the lump, Kobe was at Paradise Animal Hospital (PAH) for the first round of tests on this mysterious growth. Following a fine-needle aspiration and a specialists opinion, it was diagnosed as what seemed to be an infection or a damaged salivary gland. We were sent home very relieved with a round of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory meds and the recommendation of a hot compress to the swelling a couple times a day.
Once the course of medicine had been taken we were delighted to see his lump gone, or so we thought...
On the Friday following med completion, we noticed that a small lump was back. Over the course of the weekend, Kobe's lump grew with a vengeance. It was no longer golf ball sized but instead looked as if Kobe had swallowed a softball and gotten it stuck in his throat. Needless to say, we wanted to see the vet ASAP. But despite our worry and the massive lump, Kobe was his normal self.
I called the Veterinary Specialty Centre (VSC) to see if they could take a look at Kobe, but once they told us there was an almost $200.00 fee just to be seen we decided that we'd wait until Monday when Paradise Animal Hospital opened. Again, he was 100% his normal self besides the lump.
Monday morning bright and early we lined up at the doors of PAH to be the first patients at the walk-in clinic. Following a chat with the vet, it was decided that another round of antibiotics at a higher dose would be the treatment plan. Although when the medicine was gone we'd come back in for X-rays and possibly an ultrasound. This was to determine if Kobe had something stuck in his neck causing the infection.
That same evening, Kobe began to pick and scratch his neck. He was obviously bothered by the lump now. Through the scratching Kobe managed to burst open the lump making our house look like a scene from Criminal Minds, it was not pretty. But it did offer him some relief and took away the majority of lump size. We tried our hand at first aid and wrapped Kobe with gauze, but this was a failed attempt. We had a laugh at him bandaged but he soon freed himself.
Round two of antibiotics didn't seem to be helping much, certainly nothing like the first round. Mr. Lump was still present and large. Kobe continued to pick and scratch his neck and was obviously annoyed. The size was ever fluctuating as he itched this annoying sore. We did try our best to stop him from scratching but due to the location, a neck cone was not possible.
Vet trip three to Paradise Animal Hospital was a planned sedation and testing. We brought Kobe in the morning and he spent the day with the staff of PAH getting his x-ray, ultrasound, blood-work and lots of love and attention. They take such great care of the animals here that he was happy to leave me behind and spend the day with Dr. Johnson. I was not so happy to be sending him off and shed a few tears.
When it was time to pick Kobe up we had the chance to look at a small, I'm talking less than 1 cm, splinter through the ultrasound images. From here it was decided that we needed to be referred to the Veterinary Specialty Centre for a surgery consultation.
Due to the location of Kobe's bump, the PAH Doctors were not comfortable to perform surgery and decided that it was time for a specialist to take over his case.
Wednesday, August 15th, one week after his third trip to PAH we were at VSC. From here everything progressed very fast. We had a consultation with a vet and surgeon, from here Kobe was taken, sedated and given a CT Scan.
We picked Kobe up later that evening and discussed the results and what the next step would be. The CT confirmed that we were not dealing with a damaged salivary gland, and it is, in fact, a lump due to infection. Though surprisingly no foreign object was picked up in the CT as we seen in the Ultrasound one week prior.
Next, the treatment plan was made, we all agreed surgery was the best choice to get rid of this troublesome bump. And just like that Kobe, was scheduled for his surgery, TODAY! I wasn't joking when I said everything happened fast.
This morning at 7:00 am I dropped Kobe off at the VSC for his operation. Around 10:00 am the surgeon, Dr. Zimmerman called to let me know he was asleep, doing great and had his fur shaved for surgery.
Close to 2:00 pm I was updated that surgery had gone great and Kobe was in the ICU recovering for the next few hours.
At 6:00 pm Kobe was discharged from the VSC following a successful surgery and recovery. Kobe is at home with us now resting and doing great.
As for that mysterious lump, it's still a mystery. The mass was sent to histology following removal for further testing and the results are expected in 5-7 business days. I'll update this post once we hear more. Though it is expected to have been a wood splinter from chewing sticks. Who would have thought something that've Iv'e seen hundreds of dogs doing could cause so much trouble.
I have a bit of advice for any pet owners, get your animal a Trupanion insurance account. Without the amazing folks at Trupanion this lump would have cost us ~$7500.00 and we still have follow up appointments, meaning more money. The monthly payments are selected by you at what you can afford. Though, the lower the monthly payment the higher the deductible.
Please keep Kobe in your thoughts for a speedy recovery.
XO Hayleigh, Ryan & Kobe.