Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My sons: human and furry

So, I haven't been the only one with health ailments this month. Luckily, Rob is the picture of health, and our cocker spaniel Lola only has a disease called Annoyingness. Rylan and Curt (our 15 year old pomeranian mix) have each taken several years off our lives.

At Rylan's 18 month visit in May, the doctor found a heart murmur. He had never heard one on Rylan before. CUE BIG FREAKOUT. He said he thought it was a growth spurt causing an "innocent murmur." A technical term for don't worry. He did a chest x-ray and an EKG immediately, which were both fine. He gave me two choices: wait three months and see if its still there, if it is, proceed with testing OR get an echocardiogram as soon as possible to absolutely rule anything out right away. Since we are sort of worry warts by default (well, I am anyway), and Rob and I each have heart disease in our families, AND we are due to have a baby in a little over 3 months, we chose to have conclusive tests done now.

Now, in between the finding of the murmur and the actual ECHO, we heard lots and lots of stories about how other peoples kids had the same thing and it was nothing. But, its our kid and we still were scared and sad about the maybes.

I am happy to report, that Friday, we learned that Rylan's echocardiogram was totally normal, most likely he is going through a large growth spurt (hasn't Rylan's whole life been a large growth spurt?) and it caused the "innocent murmur."

Onto my furry child. Curt has been in Rob's life for 15 years, he has been in Rob's care for 12, having previously been with Rob's sister and brother-in-law. When I met Rob, Curt and Rob were a package. It was like dating someone with a child. When he came over for dinner, so did Curt. When we went on vacation, so did Curt. Curt is the sweetest, most well-adapted and ready for anything (except thunder) dog on the planet. He gladly accepted me as his new mom and we quickly became a party of 3. Until I stupidly thought Curt needed a buddy and brought home a stray cocker spaniel. Curt still hasn't truly forgiven me for that one. Then we really shook both dog's world and had an actual BABY. Just wait till October. Oh, doggies, is life gonna be tough.

A week ago, Rob discovered a large mass on Curt's rear (not to get too personal). Curt has very long Pomeranian hair, so the mass was able to grow, unseen before it was noticed. By the time we saw it, it was GIGANTIC. An emergency vet visit, a regular vet visit, and a biopsy later, the pathologist decided that there was a large chance that Curt has Anal Sac Carcinoma.
1. Owwwww
2. Gross name, couldn't have called it Rear Large Bump Disease?

So, we did our research, only to find out that even with aggressive treatment, this is almost nearly fatal. For one, Curt is too old to even consider aggressive treatment. For another, our concern is for Curt to have a happy end to his life. The THING needed to be removed regardless of any treatment, because he could no longer sit comfortably, and sitting is a big part of quality of life. So, we opted to get the Rear Large Bump removed, and no matter what the results, we would comfort him, take care of him and let him enjoy his life, however long we had.

I am happy to report that the doctor removed it, our 15 year old canine made it through surgery with flying colors, and is home with us and recuperating very well. The bad news is that it was a malignant tumor. Its likely to re-grow, but very unlikes to spread to other parts. So, for now, we are relishing every day with our Curtdog.

I am one of those people that believes that something good has to come out of something bad. HAS TO. Or I will sue. Who will I sue? Dunno, but I'll find someone. So, the good that has come out of this whole shabang, is that I have re-learned to relish every moment that I have in this world with my loved ones. It shouldn't take health scares to remember that doggy throw-up on the carpet, kid poo down the leg at public places, incessant barking at the mailman, and temper tantrums are actually proof that you have your people and pets, still with you in your life.

On a similar note. Do you want to know the best way to get motivated to clean your house and exercise often? Have your doctor and husband and family tell you to do nothing. All of the sudden, you've never wanted to clean, exercise, cook, or dance so much in your entire life.


  1. Thank God for "innocent" murmurs. Seriously, that's the best news EVER.
    But poor Curt and his unfairly named big, scary bump. :( Give him tons of hugs & a bellyful of Milk Bones, k?
    And I just checked out Craigslist - cute and smiley of you, scary of me! In my next life, I'm gonna be totally photogenic.

  2. I'm only photogenic if you tell me you are taking a picture and I pose. If its an action shot, I immediately gain 40 pounds and 3 chins. Every time.