Another Veterinary Tale

A few weeks ago, I noticed a small skin lump on Shmoo’s back. I thought it was probably a sebaceous cyst or a granuloma, but I couldn’t stop obsessing over it, so took him to our local vet. Baby vet was there and said he thought it was probably a granuoloma and not to worry about it.

But, of course, I couldn’t stop worrying about it. So close to losing Maggie, it was all I could think about. I knew I wasn’t being rational, and that logically, given Shmoo’s age, it was probably nothing, it was hard to just let it go.

So, JM and I decided that the smartest thing to do was to make a trip to the Vet school in Toulouse and have it evaluated there. I called and got an appointment for a few days away, and last Tuesday we set off at an indecent hour for Toulouse.

Every time we go to Toulouse at rush hour, I’m reminded of why I hated L.A. Rain made the sucky traffic even more sucky than usual, and instead of the usual 90 minutes it takes us to get to the Vet school, it took just over 2 hours. Fun.

Tuesdays are clearly surgical clinic days, and there was almost no one there, as opposed to medical clinic mornings when the place is packed. I was very pleased to see that Shmoo has matured a lot since this past winter, and he was a very, very good boy, not making a scene trying to play with the other dogs, and mostly just sat calmly at my feet.

As usual, we first had an exam by some of the students. Poor Shmoo was very worried about all the undue attention, and started shedding like crazy, a typical reaction to stress. His physical exam showed him to be in excellent health, and everyone was very impressed by his beautiful white teeth (I didn’t tell them that he gets periodic raw bones; not a conversation to have at the time).

After a short wait, we got in to see the surgical professor. He decided that the best course was to do a needle biopsy and see what the results of that were before taking out the growth. I have to admit to being a bit skeptical, as I haven’t ever had one of my dogs have a needle biopsy that showed anything conclusive, either good or bad. But, we were there and it wasn’t something that would cause great harm or pain, so we agreed.

Here is where I was very impressed. A group of young vets led Shmoo off down the corridor and he did NOT make the least bit of fuss! I was sure he would be afraid and fight to come back to us, but he seemed to accept that he had to do this and was a very, very good boy!

The biopsy was performed with no difficulties and a galloping Shmoo dragged one of the students down the hall towards us, eager to get the heck out of Dodge!

When we went to check out, the total cost for the visit, including the biopsy, analysis, exam and consult with the surgical professor, came to a grand total of 42€! I’m guessing we would have been close to $300 in L.A. for a similar experience.

I was pretty sure we would get a call a few days later to tell us that the biopsy was inconclusive and that we’d have to go back to have the lump removed. But we were pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call on Friday evening to confirm that it was a benign sebaceous cyst after all (Yaaay for my diagnostic powers!) and that they recommended that we leave it alone. All of us are very happy now to go along with that decision, and this time, our veterinary excursion ended on a happy note.

Ciao for now.


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