A few years ago Kiera developed a large cyst (size and shape of a jumbo sized egg) on the base of her tail. Dad lanced it, and it healed over, leaving a very large area of scar tissue. Fast forward to about a month ago when my husband and I notice that the cyst is back - just as big as it was the first time. We were concerned because it had cropped up apparently overnight. The dog is, after all, somewhere between 14 and 15 years old, and any medical event is cause for attention.
Well, Dad lanced it again last weekend - only to find that it wasn't a cyst, but was rather a tumor. (It is not uncommon for cysts like this to turn into tumors - especially if and when they are on a good blood supply to fuel the growth.) Kiera and I now share the dubious distinction of being able to grow very large, very fast-moving benign tumors for no good reason whatsoever. The problem is that that type of tumor can grow so quickly (and indeed it grew considerably in the week between the attempted lancing and the surgery) that it will eventually die, leaving a nasty wound that won't heal. So, off it must come.
Dad brought everything he needed home, and as Mom and I have both assisted him countless times we were able to easily do the surgery out on my parents' porch, where Mom has a convenient grooming table. Thanks to reversible anesthesia (in Dad's opinion the best advancement in veterinary medicine in his lifetime), Kiera was up and about 30 minutes after the surgery was complete, back to her normal, lovey self.
The problem is that we have to make sure she doesn't touch the bandage. If she goes after it than the healing process could turn into a disaster...which means that she must wear an Elizabethan collar at night and whenever she is left at home.
Oddly, after a week spent obsessively licking the growing tumor, she's not touched it once, so at this point it's just a precaution. The tumor was so big that Dad actually had trouble sewing her tail up - and in fact it now pulls to the side quite a bit. Quite naturally, you would think this would be highly irritating. Kiera sniffed it once, though, and that was that.
We did decide to go ahead and collar her last night just to be on the safe side. Fortunately, after one rather lackluster attempt to get it off, she gave up and accepted her fate. That's a lot of what I love about this dog....she's so at peace with being in our family that she calmly accepts anything and everything we ask of her.
So there you have it. Problem solved.