Spring has sprung! It’s been wonderful weather for dog walkers lately. My two lurchers love to run and chase each other in the sunshine, whereas in the rain Mabel plods along looking depressed. Even the farmers have been happy about the weather as the ground has been drying out though they won’t get too excited until the good weather has lasted through lambing time. After the horrendous experience in the heavy snow right at the peak of lambing time last year some delayed putting the rams in this year. They may yet come to regret that decision as those who have lambed early have been laughing!
Lumps and bumps have featured heavily this month. We had three dogs with multiple enlarged lymph nodes. Two were diagnosed as lymphoma, a cancer which is always fatal but which can often respond to chemotherapy to extend life for a few months. In pets we don’t use chemotherapy which is likely to make them feel very poorly as that wouldn’t be fair. We stick to a limited range of drugs unlikely to cause side effects and safe for the owner to administer. The third dog, fortunately for her, just had reactive lymph nodes, probably secondary to a chronic skin condition.
‘What do you think of this lump’ is a common reason for pets to be presented to us. Sometimes we can make a diagnosis just by looking and feeling. Other cases may need some lab work, and sometimes we just go on gut feeling to advise either ‘watch and monitor’ or ‘remove straight away’ if we are concerned. It’s always safest to have a vet check a lump. Being so scared of cancer that you don’t seek advice is rarely helpful!