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Discovering A Lump On Your Pup

Django knows something is up
My daughter, Kate is an animal whisperer. Every since she was little she has always intuitively known when something was wrong with one of our pets. She always knows when Hayley's blood sugar is dipping low and she can use a snack. She knew when our Lily was feeling ill. She even knows when one of the dogs has to use the yard. 

So, of course it was Kate who discovered a smallish, golfball sized lump on Django's neck. It isn't exactly the top of her neck as much as it is the side, close to her left shoulder.

All the times that Django sprawls all over me on the couch and I pet her, I never noticed it. Kate asked me to feel and I immediately felt a sense of dread. No one wants to find a lump on their dog ... ever.

She gets more nervous before the exam
The writer and researcher in me immediately ran to Google and I read all about how lipomas (fatty tumors) are very common on dogs, especially once they hit a certain age. Django is 6, far from elderly, but still no spring chicken. Even before I Googled it, I was hoping it was a lipoma. Lipomas are innocent and don't even necessarily need to be removed as long as they don't bother the dog.


Django gripped the edges of the table 
We went to the vet yesterday who said while he didn't like where it was (near a lymph node), he didn't think it was anything to worry about but he wanted to do a biopsy right then and there to make sure. He felt all her other lymph nodes and noticed nothing out of the ordinary. She is in no noticeable pain, the lump is palpable and it moves, isn't attached to the bone or muscle — all good signs.

The doctor stuck a needle straight into Django's lump and swished it back and forth, in and out to collect enough cells to confirm a diagnose. A stoic Django didn't even move or make a peep, despite panting and whining for about a half-hour prior to that as we sat in the waiting room.

The vet said the cells looked meatier than he expected, which I did not want to hear, but said it could also be a cyst. He did not want to give her any shots just in case something came back wrong, explaining he did not want to stress her immune system in that circumstance.



Gradually, she began calming down and you can bet that she ran straight out of the office on the way home, and enjoyed a good and long sleep in the afternoon!

I am less stressed than I expect for one simple reason: I cannot fathom anything happening to my sweet Django and I think I am intentionally choosing to put a positive spin on this situation. 

The vet says he will let me know by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. Until then, I am trying my best to maintain a level headed attitude.....at least that's what I'm telling myself!

UPDATE: 

Django's lump is ALL CLEAR! It's a lipoma (fatty tumor), completely benign and doesn't even need to be removed! Thank you all SO MUCH for all your good wishes and kind messages! It means so much to us! We are so happy that our Djangy is healthy! 



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