By Leanne Sillers, BSW, RSW
Animal Safekeeping Coordinator
Sorry it’s been so long to let you know what has been happening with Jack. Just a quick recap, my 3-year-old golden retriever, Jack, was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor in October 2017. We were waiting on a surgery date and an MRI. I got the call at the end of the October that his MRI would be scheduled for November 6, 2017. This was being done to see if the tumor had spread and to allow the surgeons to get a really good look at the best way to remove the tumour. Surgery was then scheduled two days later. The waiting was the worst. Wait for the MRI. Wait for surgery date. Wait for the results.
The day of the surgery was so hard. Jack has no issue about going to the vet. He happily walked into the vet college, while I had tears in my eyes not wanting to let him go. The vet student took him in and said she would contact me as soon as the surgery was over. Again more waiting. The surgery was set to take place around 10:00 a.m. and would take over an hour. By noon I heard nothing. By 1:00 p.m. nothing. By 3:00 p.m. I finally phoned. They had an emergency come in and it took longer than what they thought. Jack was just getting prepped to go to the operating room. At 5:30 p.m., I got the call. He was out of surgery. It went well and the cancer had not spread. This was absolutely the best news I could have gotten.
I was able to pick him up the next day in the late afternoon. He was happy to see me (even with his cone on) but he was so groggy. I was expecting a small incision. Nope! It was 8-inches long, red, and swollen. The stitches reminded me of Frankenstein. Not only that, but half of his back was shaved right down.
The healing process took longer than expected. He popped the stitches, so they stapled it back together. And guess what? He popped the staples. It was where the tumour was and the skin was pulled together so the tension was tight. For five weeks we had a cone head in our house. By the end of that time, Jack was certainly tired of the cone, but so was I. He was banging into stuff, couldn’t fit in his kennel and his exercise was very limited.
So here we are on January 10, 2018, his fur is almost all grown back. The incision is slightly pink but no issues. He is back to his happy golden self.
Big thanks to all the staff at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine who looked after my golden boy so well, and for being so kind to me when I could barely speak because I was so upset. Also to my co-workers for your support and kindness through all this.