Stephi and Surgery

A week after we got back from Chicago, I noticed that the tumor on Stephi’s chest was starting to leak blood.  Yes, call the vet and make another appointment.  This time, instead of waiting for it to rupture and drain, we decided to do surgery and try to find out what was causing this anomaly.  I had been hoping that it was a symptom of her thyroid problem but it didn’t go away or reduce the size of it after she started taking the medicine.

We set up surgery for last Thursday but I needed to keep the tumor from bleeding all over our carpet until then.  What to do?  The vet suggested getting an infant’s t-shirt to protect it.  A baby shirt???  Yes, that probably would’ve worked but I went to a discount store and found a dog t-shirt instead.  For 2 days, Stephi wandered around with a green tie-dyed dog t-shirt on, stuffed with a lime green (cheap) microfiber wash cloth to absorb any drainage.  It worked and she looked adorable in it.  Seriously, since her hair hasn’t grown back in totally, she is a lot cuter with the t-shirt than without it and I loved the white peace sign on the back.  Can you say Hippie Dog???

The surgery went just fine and the vet found some kind of growth in the muscle that had a “head” sticking out and that is what was causing the tumors that kept coming up.  They removed it all and put a drainage tube in.  Stephi, at age 14, didn’t handle the anesthesia well though.  She refused to drink any water after she got home, wouldn’t eat anything, and snarled at me when I even looked like I was going to touch her side. And she just kept getting weaker and weaker, until finally she couldn’t even stand up on her own and she didn’t have the energy to snarl.  We kept the vet informed and took her in on Saturday so they could give her an IV with fluids.  They were concerned with dehydration.  I was concerned with losing sweet Stephi.

After the IV, it was like we had our old Stephi back.  She still was not skipping to the door to go outside, but she was eating a little and drinking a lot.  Today, she IS trotting to the door to go outside.  She’s wagging her tail much more than she was before surgery.  She’s actually “perky” nowadays.  (I considered calling her Katie Couric but thought better of that.)  Her hair is starting to grow back.  Her eyes are more focused now and she’s generally more alert.  This is getting better than before surgery!  She is still deaf but this is like a much younger Stephi and we are loving it!   One day, she will again have a beautiful coat.

I take her back on Tuesday to get the drainage tube removed.  She will definitely look forward to that, I know.  That leg is still a little stiff and I figure it’s because that tube is uncomfortable.  I know the vet is going to be amazed with the change since Saturday. 

Our Little (much younger) Stephi

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One response to “Stephi and Surgery

  1. I hate to hear she had to go thru surgery – but so happy she made it. I know it is so hard on older dogs – and their parents. Keep us updated on her recovery.
    My two dogs, Matisse and Ezzie wear shirts and sweaters. Matisse loves to dress up but Ezzie does not know what to think – just sits there.