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small scare

A few weeks before our holiday travels we noticed a small red growth on Emmie’s paw. S did some research online and diagnosed it as a histiocytoma, a benign tumor that typically occurs in young dogs and which regresses after a month or two. We decided it was no cause for concern and went on vacation. When we returned in mid-January, the tumor had doubled in size. It was ulcerated and showed no signs of regression. A bit alarmed, we took Emmie to the vet to get the tumor removed and analyzed.

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The surgical procedure was simple, but the labwork produced alarming and unexpected results. The vet had sent the sample to a pathology lab and the diagnosis was dire. According to Nairobi’s premier cancer specialists, our dog had less than six months to live. The vet told us there was a small chance of error, as the lab specialized in human pathology, and recommended we send the sample to a Nairobi University medical student who was doing research on dog cancers.

A week went by without an answer. While D argued that the diagnosis must have been wrong – that kind of cancer usually occurs in much older dogs of markedly different breeds – we could not be sure, and requested the sample so that we could get a second opinion from an American vet. It took several weeks, but the diagnosis from the other side of the pond confirmed our earlier suspicions: the tumor was a late-stage histiocytoma that would have regressed on its own had we left it alone another couple of weeks.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Lissa #

    S & D, I am so happy to hear Emmie is okay!

    March 8, 2013

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