My dog Daisy has a large growth on the back of her tongue. We did not find the growth until a couple of days ago. The reason we looked in her mouth was frothy drool tinged with blood. Our vet took one look and said to take Daisy to a surgery center that can do a biopsy. She also said, “It’s not good.”
Our regular vet is a basic vet who doesn’t do surgery or “treat” terminal problems in the contemporary “spare no expense” manner. I like going to this vet as she does lots of rescue work, keeps her rates low so a larger number of people can get basic care for the pets they love, and she has Saturday reduced fee shot clinics. She doesn’t have an excess of bedside manner, but you know you are getting the straight story from her.
Miss Daisy is 10 years old. She was a rescue from the Humane Society who had already been returned by her first rescue family at the age of 16 weeks. She was probably the most hyperactive puppy I have ever seen. The story is that she was a “reject” from a local dog “breeder” who was probably trying to breed a loose skinned, short but thick coated fighting dog from crossing Shar Pei and Pit Bull Terriers. Her one ear sticks up and the other one has the cartilage broken in a way that makes it flop over. It gives her a very quizzical expression. She is brindle in a black and reddish-tan tiger stripe. She has a spotted, primarily black tongue.
She is also one of the most intelligent dogs I have ever known. Usually one “no” is enough to stop her from doing bad things except for chasing small critters. The terrier in her background loves chasing and digging for lizards.
She was terrified of spoons, especially wooden spoons, and didn’t think much of men at first. We believe she was beaten by a man and that is how her ear was broken. Over the years she has developed a trusting relationship with us. She has raised two mastiff puppies. She is a part of our family. She is probably going to leave us soon.
I will take her to a full service veterinary clinic and have the growth biopsied. From the look, her breed, and symptoms, it is probably a melanoma. I want her to have the maximum good time left, and that may not mean surgery that would probably require removal of much of her tongue, feeding tubes, and the like. I will not put her through medical torture that she does not understand for a few weeks more with her.
She is getting around, wants to go for her daily short walk and goes out into our yard with our 1-year-old mastiff several times a day. She eats soft food and still nibbles on treats.
This is so hard. Last year we lost our six-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff to an Africanized bee attack. Daisy was attacked too but she pulled through, somehow, even though she was half of the Neo’s weight. She’s so tough. I did not anticipate this. I’m very, very sad.