I weighed Kekoa on Tuesday and I am happy to report that she is back on track at 74.5 pounds- one more pound gone! She really is a trooper. She has this great talent of utilizing her lower center of gravity to butt Brody out of the way when they are jockeying for position at feeding time, so despite her shrinking weight she still had mad leverage skills.
We ran into someone who hasn’t seen Koa since shortly after she came to live with us in March. He was floored. “She’s so shiny!” he said. “And so skinny!” I told him about the Nulo Challenge and how well Koa was doing on the food, how Brody was also scarfing it up and also how jealous Koa was that Brody’s ration was quite a bit more (darn that slow female metabolism.)
I also told him about Koa’s nerve sheath tumor and my conversation with the oncologist. I excised the mass with generous margins but, without knowing what it was, I didn’t take radical measures and cut out muscle and bone. The path report showed the margins were not clean. In short, there is microscopic tumor left that will likely regrow.
There are three options:
1. Do nothing. It is a slow growing tumor, and even if left alone, only 10% of those tumor types spread to other organs. As I learned with Emmett, though, relying on the numbers only works when you aren’t in that 10%.
2. Radiation. After going through this with Mulan, I had told myself that I wouldn’t put another pet through that trying process. It’s a different type of tumor with a different protocol, but still… I am really hesitant to go through that journey again. It was so hard on her, poor pup.
3. Surgical revision. Although I’m not comfortable doing the more radical surgery myself, my boss is willing to go in and go after the muscle and possibly bone of the scapula in order to try to get clean margins on the tumor. It would be invasive, obviously, and poor Koa would have to recover from a second procedure- but if the margins are clean, that should be the end of it.
None of the choices are that great, truth be told. How I wish I had a little magic zippy wand to just wave it all away. See? Even when you think you know what you’re doing, the answers aren’t always clear.