Friday, January 30, 2009

Buddy update

Let me begin by thanking everyone for your kind comments here and in e-mails about Buddy, they were much appreciated. They really helped me through these difficult days of uncertainty.

Thankfully, I heard back from the vet today, and didn't have to wait through the weekend until Monday.

The report from the veterinary cardiologist states that Buddy indeed has a one-inch "mass" in one of his lungs. {sadness & tears}

The "good" news is that it's in the same location as the previous one, which seemed to be coming-and-going a year ago. The question is this ... is the mass benign or malignant? That's a tough one to answer, because the only way to find out is via "fine needle aspiration". That involves putting Buddy under anesthesia while a fine needle is guided by ultrasound into the mass in his lung. The needle withdraws a sample of the liquid and/or cells, which would then be analyzed in a lab.

Of course, this is a very invasive procedure and would put Buddy through a lot. And, in our eyes, it presents too much risk. This needle needs to be expertly guided such that no blood vessels, arteries, etc, are punctured, all while the heart is beating nearby and the lungs are moving up and down. The procedure could lead to huge problems if something went wrong ... blood build-up in the lung, etc. So, we've been weighing it all out.

But so far, we're leaning toward NOT doing the aspiration. What gives us comfort in this decision is that we think, and the specialist who does aspirations agrees with us to some degree, that if the mass were a malignant tumor, it would've created health issues for Buddy a while ago.

So, in a nutshell, I think at this point we're not comfortable with the aspiration procedure, and will take a "wait-and-see" approach. Buddy is not symptomatic, his cough is even more slight than it was a couple weeks ago. He coughs slightly once or twice a day now, and some days not at all.

We might have a consultation with another specialist who does these aspirations. And we'll set up an appt for more chest X-rays in 3 or 4 months, monitoring Buddy in the interim.

For now, although we're not sure what exactly is in Buddy's lung, it doesn't appear to be of immediate concern. Of course, there's never 100% certainty (and that's true even of aspiration results!), and that's what makes this all so difficult.

We just hope that we're doing the right thing for Buddy. He's our furry angel!

Thanks again, and enjoy the weekend ...

1 comment:

Claudia said...

I'm glad to hear that Buddy is doing well and I hope that he continues to get better. Hopefully this mass will go away like the other one did. I know it must be difficult making these decisions but I know you'll always do what is best! Give Buddy a big hug from the Harris crew!!