This morning when I woke up, I looked at Jake and noticed the entire lower left side of his head and neck, especially his muzzle flap were swollen. My first thought was It's Wednesday...You're vet doesn't work on Wednesdays Jake.
Clearly Jake had to go to the vet but it wasn't clear if it was an emergency or not. Jake was breathing ok, just a little rattly/raspy so I made an appointment to take him later. The vet tech asked all sorts of questions and we decided he could wait until 4.
I took him to the vet. He hasn't been feeling well...he perked up at the vet's. He has escape on his mind.
I was hoping it was a tooth. It's not. Jake's left submandular lymph node is about the size of a handball. His right is the size of large walnut. Normally, you can't feel these at all in a dog (unless you know what you are doing.) The vet wants to increase the dose of prednisone and see what that does for Jake. I expect lots of peeing in my future.
What I understood from the vet is that lymphoma is different in every dog. They know generally what happens but not specifically and every dog is different. The lymphoma can show up any where. The vet said Jake has lived longer than most dogs. She just had a dog that died 6 weeks after diagnosis on the same therapy as Jake. You just don't know.
If the swelling doesn't go down, Jake's lymh nodes will keep increasing. Eventually they will swell so much and block his throat. He won't be able to eat and then he won't be able to breathe. He'll eventually suffocate.
The vet gave me a sheet on "paw"spice care and we talked about how to know if Jake is going into respatory distress. Jake breathes 24-30 times a minute. If he breathes 60 times a minute and it's shallow and there is no obvious cause (like being at the vet's office) then he needs to go to the doggie e.r.
I'm trying not to cry because I was so worried I wouldn't be able to bring him home today and he's home but I'm so sad he's going through this.