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Vet Bill of Health

10 days ago we took Patch into the vet’s for surgery and teeth cleaning (if possible).    Patch had a couple of ugly bleeding tumors on his belly right near where the thin belly hair thickens into the coat on the sides.  I have been waiting for the results of the histologic examination and they came back today.

While waiting for these results I have been alternating between being really scared for him and a state of acceptance.  But the vet was pretty sure it was cancer.  And I was gathering information about canine cancer treatments and thinking about how to weigh Patches’ life against cost of treatment.  How to do that???  I never figured it out.

Patches’ tumors were malignant.

Diagnoses:  Cutaneous Hemangiosarcoma

However there is lots of good news:

  1. the surgery removed all the margins of the tumors (the key to getting rid of the cancer and having no recurrence)
  2. the cancer was in his skin cells, not subcutaneous.

This is a kind of cancer has a great survival rate and no chemo is needed.

Patch most likely will have a good life ahead of him, free from vets and meds.  Yay!!!!


That’s the important part but for those who are curious:

We will have to keep an eye on the little lesions on the other side of his belly.  They look like blood blisters and right now are 1 to 2 cm.  The vet said that these are common in older dogs and are either benign or malignant, they do not change into being cancer if they do not start out cancerous.  If one does develop it will grow very quickly and anything over 3 cm is a size to be concerned about.

I got a copy of the animal disease report:  this kind of cancer is often caused by UV rays, irradiation from the sun.  Years of lying in the sun most likely caused this.

The thing we don’t know without further tests is whether this cancer was metastasised from another cancer elsewhere in his body.  We would have to do a cat scan and go hunting for more cancer.  We will not choose to do this.


In another area of good news the neighbors who started intervening in Patches’ life last winter by giving him walks and taking him to their house when he had no food or water contributed a large amount of money toward Patches’ care.  And they are scheduling days to come and take him for walks.  They may even take him into their home if I need to go off on a sales trip.

I am a thankful person today 🙂

Patch is constantly thankful.  That’s how those dogs are, you know.

PS:  Patches’ teeth were cleaned and they pulled one dead tooth, not bad for an old dog.  Now he smells as sweet as he is.


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

8 responses »

  1. Oh Mary Beth! I am so glad the results came back positive. Well, positive for an older pooch. We’ve adopted seniors in the past, and they are truly the most wonderful companions. Patches is one very lucky fellow, to have such lovely care and kindness in his sunset years.
    You and the hus-partner are also fortunate to have someone so sweet in your lives. Enjoy!

  2. Theresa in Tucson

    Hooray for you and your good neighbors. Patches sounds like a lovely dog and he’s lucky to have you. I wanted to tank you also for the dog bed tutorial. My red heeler, Pat (aka The Dog Who Barks Too Much) is getting older and I need to make her a doggy bed. Her sleeping chair, fur covered of course, is starting to get a bit too high of a jump. Hats off to you and hugs to Patches.

  3. I’m glad to hear he’ll still be with us! I always love seeing him the background of your photos.

  4. It’s not often one gets to say ‘Lucky dog!’ and mean it so whole-heartedly.

  5. I just did the conversion from metric to inches for the size of tumors the vet said to be concerned about and surely he misspoke: 10 cm would be over 3″ so I am going to assume he meant 3 cm would be a cause to bring Patch back. I’ve edited the post to reflect this new measurement.

  6. you are all wonderful people… thanks from all the rest of us who also try to help those wonderful beings… here’s a prayer I found years ago which always brings a tear to my eye: Dear Lord, hear and bless the beasts and singing birds, and guard with tenderness, small things which have no words. …and bless YOU!

  7. YAY for Patch!

  8. Patch is one lucky dog. I’m so happy to see he is getting so well taken care of.


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