Cancer Is Fun

That’s sarcasm, by the way. Cancer sucks, I hate cancer, cancer can go suck it.


When you have a dog, but especially when you have a dog who is a breed with a 50% occurrence of cancer in their lifetime, you learn to be vigilant. And by vigilant I mean you pick over your dog like a chimpanzee searching out ticks, and with good reason. So far, as you know, I’ve lost one dog to lymphoma, one to probable melanoma, and Brody’s had the following removed:

  • low grade melanoma on his lip (so far, so good)
  • medium grade mast cell tumor resulting in loss of ear

I’m a big fan of Sue Ettinger’s See Something Do Something initiative, and with good reason. Small masses are exponentially easier to deal with than large ones, for many reasons. It’s a gift to be able to catch things early.

So it was with a resigned trepidation that I noticed, buried in the vast recesses of Brody’s voluminous tail, yet another weird looking mass:

brody tail2

I don’t like masses. They make me scream like I’ve seen a spider over the bed.


We went and visited Highlands Ranch Animal Hospital to get it checked out yesterday, where Brody was his usual charming self. By the time we left he had the entire waiting area sitting on the floor petting him. Such a ham.

love is go

The great thing about aspirating little masses is that, while not totally diagnostic, can often give you a good feel for what you’re dealing with. In this case, no mast cells were noted. Why does this make me happy? Because he would probably have had to lose his tail and that would really really stink. The dog’s got to keep some of his parts, right?

The mass is coming off while it’s small enough to fully remove and still be able to close the skin over his tail. We are also going to send it in for pathology, which is essential for determining whether it’s something you need to follow up on. I’ll keep you posted.

I share all this in the hopes you too take a moment to go over your pet and check out the lumps and bumps while they’re teeny. It’s worth it! This is how we keep our pets around till they’re old and grey.


Filed: Blog, Cancer sucks, Daily Life, Health Tagged: , , ,
  • Von

    You’re looking good there, Brode.

    Yet another wait for yet another pathology result – that is one of the things that is so fun about cancer, right? Damn it. I hope fate is kind to your sweet boy.

    • Me too! I am optimistic about this one. 🙂

  • JaneK

    Hugs, Brody!! Do keep us posted. My sweet Bali had multiple lumps removed over his 14 years. I’m thankful my vet is a skilled surgeon.

  • DT

    “If in doubt, cut it out” has always served me well. Also, if at all possible, always spend the extra $$ on histopathology! Just recently we snipped off what looked like a skin tag while removing a larger mass; the mass turned out benign and completely removed, the “tag” was a potentially deadly melanoma. Thanks to the pathology report one ear is now a little shorter but the margins are clear and dog and owner are happy.
    Good luck with Brody’s tail mass! He looks adorable with his “prosthetic ear”.

  • Craig

    Which dog breed do you believe has the highest occurrence of cancer during their lifetime?