This is Puffie watching Gilligan eat her ice cream. I think Powder (like Simba earlier in the week) did not mind sharing with Gilligan.
After Gilligan's vet visit on Thursday morning we went to Brusters for ice cream run #1. Later that day, we went for ice cream run #2 after my usual fun run at Fleet Feet. Everyone at Brusters was so nice to Gilligan. The lady owner of Brusters in Gaithersburg came out, chatted and gave Gilligan a hug (which I know he appreciated)then the gentleman owner also came out and chatted with us. We really like the owners as they are both very nice and friendly (and of course they are REALLY generous with Gilligan's portions....although then again they are really generous with the human's portions as well:-) Which of course I like because I see no point in portion control
Puffie decided to test out Gilligan's boxers but they were too large. Or perhaps she beat him up for his boxers (it's a tough call because we pretty much have no idea what the critters do while we are away...in fact several times a month I see powder walking around in my unmentionables....so somehow she gets into the hamper, grabs a pair of undergarments then we spot her walking around with them around her neck or stomach). Gilligan is like many children in that he will take off his boxers any time he can (or else perhaps he is preparing for naked hiking day this Sunday--this fun fact I learned from my running club because of a planned run near the AT where apparently this is quite commen)
Because Gilligan is scratching at his neck stitches we had to figure out how to cover his neck. Several bandana's sort of did the trick although this morning he had gotten this contraption off. We now have an ongoing battle RE: his boxers and bandana's. Perhaps he is discomfortable with his currently not very well put together ensemble (although he does make a statement with: Simpsons, patriotism and blood donation).
Thursday I took the day off from work so Tristan and I could go to Gilligan's oncologist appt. Getting ready for this appt I created a list of at least 25 questions. Tristan had zero. Then after the Doctor left the room he finally comes up with one that I have no idea the answer to. (I at least can answer some because of my years at Center for Veterinary Medicine--in fact some of my questions I knew the "right answer" but needed the doctor to confirm she was on the same page. For example, pain management pro or con---I am STRONGLY pro pain management having a background i which I had quite a few surgeries and knowing that many well designed and well run clinical studies suggest with adequate pain management prognosis and recovery time are improved).
Basically, this doctor was a surgeon. I also sadly have extensive experience with surgeons thanks to being hit by a car. They seem to suggest surgery as the #1 choice. It is understandable because that is their speciality. But after the pain Gilligan was in earlier this week, I am very hesistant to go for surgery very soon. While surgery after surgery is certainly a viable option for diseases in which time is of the essence, limiting the time between surgeries certainly increases certain risks. Also, considering he had this mass since Sept/Oct, it seems a week or two is not likely to be as critical as if this bump had appeared and grown in mere weeks or days (8 months +/- a few weeks doesn't seem to be statisically significant).
Since I go on a business trip next week, Tristan goes to Mt Rainier the next week (for over 10 days) and then I have VT100, we have decided to take a wait and see approach until the end of July.
Finally, considering the literature it seems benadryl or steriods may have a decent chance of slowing down progression to Mast Cell Tumors we definitely are putting Gilligan on Benadryl.
Apparently the vets here are not thrilled at steriods but a few articles suggest prednisone (a steriod) has a decent response (well at least reading the articles from a statistical perspective).
1) We know Gilligan handles prednisone because he gets shots about 1-2 times a year when his allergies get out of control (his last dosing was in Dec when he and powder both had e-collars on for the holidays:-).
2) Gilligan is not planning to be competitive in any sport (well except sleeping) so he can use steriods without fear.
3) Relatively speaking steriods are not as horrible a medication as others particularly for older critters (human or dog) and those not of or before "child bearing age" (Gilligan no longer has man berries so he is an ideal candidate for steriods)
Of course if his mass gets bigger (or any other mass gets bigger) we may alter this treatment path, but for now both Tristan and I are hesitant to put Gilligan through more invasive treatments. Right about now I think it would be easier if we did not have degree's in biostatistics nor additional knowledge about medical procedures/products. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. But alas it does give us some knowledge about what we might expect.