Mr. Peabody Fights Lipoma Again

13 Mar 2006Steve Schwarz

I hate lipomas.

Two Friday nights ago I was chasing Mr. Peabody and Milo around Nancy’s house playing the “I’m going to get you” and the “Ready, Ready, Ready” games, as I often do while she is preparing their dinner (it’s a Dad’s job to do the rough housing…). I grabbed Mr. P by his rear hips for a pretend Flyball start and felt the left side of his hip and found it had a slightly different shape than the right. There is normally a slight depression on the top of his pelvis, but not on the left side. My heart sank. It could only be one thing: another lipoma was growing.

In the past year Mr. P has had two lipomas removed from the Semitendonous and the Bicep Tendoris muscles of his left rear leg (Jan 2005 and July 2005). The reappearance and fast growth of the second lipoma in the same area prompted us to put him through a 20 day radiation treatment program in September. Since October Mr. P has had his fur growing back and no sign of a tumor in the radiated area.

We knew he would be susceptible to other lipomas but had hoped the radiation would have covered a wide enough area to stop its spread. But then again the cells are likely throughout his body and lipomas are more common as dogs age.

So while I took Milo to a Flyball tournament far too early on Saturday morning Nancy took Mr. P into Dr. Young our veterinary “GP” at Lincolnwood Animal Hospital. He confirmed our fears, took measurements, and started the search for a soft tissue radiation oncologist at the big vet schools (University of Madison, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Purdue University in Indiana). Since Mr. P has already been radiated any additional radiation treatment must be carefully administered to avoid necropsy of the already radiated tissue. Another possibility is implanting tiny low-level radiation pellets in the area. Dr. Young has been playing “phone tag” with the doctors at the universities and we hope to have an appointment in the next week or so.

With Mr. Peabody turning 12 years old in May, our treatment decisions are colored by his age (BCs live 12-15 years). However, we are primarily concerned with his quality of life. He still puts on the big happy “dolphin grin” when he is playing and he is just as energetic as ever. While Milo is falling asleep after a day of vigorous outdoor play it is Mr. P who will still pick up his “lid” (Frisbee) and “plague” you with it well into the evening. So as Nancy said it isn’t a question of what we’ll do; we’ll do what it takes, as long as he is still happy and enjoying life.

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