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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bump watch

We found a new bump on Waldo's ear. It's small like the one on his back (about the size of a pencil eraser). Glad that we know what we're dealing with; otherwise, I'd be hauling him off to the vet again. It's made me wonder about how to spot a bad bump versus a benign cyst. I've been reading up on this topic and will post if I find anything interesting.

Other than the bumps, nothing new to report. I've been spending every free moment out in the garden with Waldo by my side sleeping in the sunshine and the grass.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's a cyst!

Went to the vet today to have a look at Waldo's bump. She's 95% sure that it's a sebaceous cyst. Whew. I've never had a lumpy dog, but apparently these cysts are common in bassets. Dr. Karen says it will probably be the first of many bumps on him.

We could opt to have it surgically removed, but that would mean he'd be anesthetized just for one cyst. Anesthesia is very low risk, but why risk it at all for something benign. We decided to just keep an eye on it and see if it gets any bigger or starts to bother him more. In the meantime, she recommended that we put a warm washcloth on it to see if we can get it to go away.

Now I feel silly for being so alarmed over a bump... but I would rather err on the side of caution than to wait for something obviously bad to happen!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Uh, oh..... a bump.

Sorry to have been away from the blog. Spring is turning into summer here, and the garden chores have taken precedence over blogging when I have spare time from work.

As I had posted a few weeks ago, Waldo got a clean bill of health from his new vet. Since then, we've noticed a small bump on his lower back (above his haunches) grow bigger. It's clearly bothering him as we recently noticed he often tries to chew on it. I first noticed it a few days ago since it is now big enough now to make his fur stick up.

The bump is about the size of a pencil eraser and is firm. We're calling on Monday to bring him back to the vet. I don't want to seem overly-neurotic.... but I can't helping thinking of the "C" word.

Fingers crossed....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mr. Crooked Leg

I realized yesterday while on my walk with Waldo that I never answered Fiona's question on why his leg is crooked. I thought I should post about it since it is a question we get all the time.

Basset hounds, as you can see from this stock photo on the left, tend to have "crooked" legs. In fact, they are bred to look this way even though the end result is that they have ankle and other leg joint problems as they age. It doesn't help that they also like to eat and tend to get fat, also putting more stress on their joints.

Waldo's left leg is more crooked than most, and his right leg is straighter than most. When side-by-side, it makes the left leg look even worse. People often ask us if he has broken his leg or sustained some kind of injury. No, as far as we know, he hasn't.

I asked our new vet this question and she said that maybe there was some damage to his left leg growth plate when he was young, or maybe he was born that way. It's hard to tell by a visual examination.

Judging by how quickly he runs and how high he can jump, the leg doesn't seem to bother him. We have noticed that when he sits for long periods (more than a minute), his leg will shake and he will shift weight to/from it. He doesn't seem to be in pain when he does this, more so that he feels unstable.

Dr. Karen says that what we are doing - keeping him slim and giving him joint supplements - is the right thing for now. He may have issues with the leg as he ages, but only time will tell.