Mr. Peabody Just Can't Get a Break

01 Jan 2005Steve Schwarz

At Dana Pike’s agility class Thursday night CY and Chris noticed that Mr. Peabody was moving his left rear leg differently. I had noticed him sometimes “skipping” a step on the stairs occasionally with that leg over the preceding week. He didn’t do it very frequently.

I was already taking Milo to TOPS Veterinary Rehab for his final therapeutic ultrasound treatment for his left front biceps tendon the next day. Dr. Christine Jurek DVM was able to take a quick look at Mr. Peabody and found that his left rear muscles didn’t feel normal. She recommended we see our regular Veterinarian immediately. Of course once she pointed it out it was obvious there was a difference between both sides. Going in I was thinking that he just needed a chiropractic adjustment…

This was especially surprising since Nancy massages and stretches Mr. Peabody almost every day. But since she works with him on one side and then the other the differences between each side weren’t readily apparent. It is even harder to detect if you’ve just worked on Milo with his large muscled rear end beforehand.

Of course this was New Years Eve and all veterinary offices were either closed or closing early for the long weekend. While driving back from TOPS I called our dog’s “GP” Dr. Young DVM at Lincolnwood Animal Hospital and luckily he had an open appointment at 12:30.

So in his meticulous manner Dr. Young spent about an hour and a half with Mr. Peabody. He took X Rays, palpated and manipulated his entire rear end, checked his lymph nodes, and did a prostate exam. He only found an increase in size of the muscle tissue, a tumor, involving the

Semitendonous and possibly the Bicep Tendoris muscles. It is likely the tumor is applying pressure to his sciatic nerve and that is what causes the change in his gait in some situations. So Dr. Young contacted a Veterinarian with a mobile Ultrasound scanner who agreed to come out later that afternoon. Even though he was supposed to close at 2:00 PM, Dr. Young gave up his other plans to reopen for the procedure.

We reconvened at Dr. Young’s office at 4:30 for the ultrasound. Mr. Peabody’s left rear was shaved and he was a model patient for the almost one hour ultrasound of the entire area. The doctors took two needle biopsies guided by the ultrasound view. Both Doctors thought the biopsies indicated a fatty tumor (a Lipoma) but nothing more definite could be determined at that time.

Unfortunately the test labs weren’t picking up samples that late on the night before a holiday so the slides will go out for testing on Monday. We are expediting the tests with the hopes of getting some results as soon as Tuesday. The real question is whether or not the tumor is cancerous (That lump may be a tumor but it might not be cancer).

Even after all the travel and all the “indignities” experienced during almost five hours in veterinary offices Mr. Peabody was still ready to play when we got home. He charged after his brother and wanted to play the tugging game with his Frisbee. We are making him take it easy until this is resolved.

Dr. Young will be getting us recommendations on local surgeons/oncologists on Monday. Then based on the results of the biopsy we’ll schedule a consultation with one or more of the surgeons and possibly an MRI to fully map the size and infiltration of the tumor. I also need to check with our doctors at Eye Care For Animals

to see if this surgery increases the risk on Mr. Peabody’s eye condition; I’m afraid the drugs during and post surgery, and the recovery process itself, could cause elevated eye pressure. Once we know the surgical protocol I’ll check with TOPS about scheduling rehab for our little guy.

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