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Anim Graphic ©1997 Kitty Roach

(For this page, pretend this dog is limping on three legs!)

On 17 June 1999, when Misha (@RB) came out of a swimming pond at the park and was walking in front of us, I noticed that her left inside thigh was waaaaaay larger than the other, and it wasn't cellulite!

I brought her to the vet on 18 June, who couldn't tell what the problem was, except there is another lump further down her leg (not the usual fatty tissue kinda lump) which may be related to the swelling on her thigh, so on 19 June, both areas were aspirated . . . the vet said, "It doesn't look good", but what did he know? She's an Airedale, after all, and she's come through much worse than this . . . cruciate ligament surgery, internal bleeding because of an exploded spleen . . . you name it, she's survived it.


She didn't show any discomfort, so we just let her hike and swim and eat grass and drink pondwater and roll in horse puckies as usual . . . I figured if she's gonna go, she may as well go happy and doin' what she likes to do . . . we should all go that way!


Both lumps were aspirated; the lower one was bloody, and the vet thought perhaps that one is causing a blood-flow restriction to the thigh, thus causing the thigh to swell. Also, that it was cancerous. Anyway, the fluids were sent to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Veterinary College - where they have an Oncology Department.

My vet suggested that any further treatment will have to be done there (just where we wanted to spend our summer vacation!), as he would not be comfortable doing any kind of surgery. We don't think we'd go the route of amputation - at 11.5 years of age, what kind of a life would that be for her? And there's no guarantee it wouldn't spread anyway.

On 25 June, the results of aspirations: Upper lump/swelling is fatty tissue - get out the liposuction machine! Lower lump's aspiration had too much blood in it to be tested, so we don't know what it is.

Our vet made an appointment for us at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Veterinary College for 1 July. The prognosis doesn't sound good, but we take it a day at a time. I did have to get a larger Elizabethan collar. I asked for the "satellite dish" size, and by doG, he had one. Misha can barely get through the doors; her dishes have to be elevated to eat and drink, but finally, she cannot lick her lumps. She must be trying to grind the E-collar down, though; when she walks down the hallway, she lists to one side or the other, rubbing the E-collar along the wall . . . with an Airedale, there's humor in every situation, isn't there?