After a brief physical exam, where he confirmed she looked and acted great, he discussed his “bright idea”. He wanted to make an incision that ran the entire length of Josie’s snout, from about where her eyes are down to where her nose is, remove the bone that is on top completely and scoop out all the stuff that was in there. I was speechless. As I listened to him describe the procedure, I was horrified. He then explained how during the weeks after surgery, she would look freaky – no longer having that bone – the top of her snout would no longer be hard. And as she breathed, it would look like a bellows.
He almost seemed proud of his suggestion. After all, by removing it all, there are plenty of samples to biopsy. We would have a great chance of knowing what type of cancer we are dealing with.
He was a bit taken aback when I said “Hell no.” I’m pretty sure I said something more diplomatic than that, but I wanted to tell him to stay the hell away from my dog.
I did explain that I was not about to subject my dog to something so invasive. After all, she was doing great. Why would I put her through an ordeal like that? He tried to guilt me and said it would be good to get it all out – make it easier for her to breath. Give us a huge sample set. Finally, he reluctantly said he would write up a letter to all the vets involved to know what he had suggested and sent us on our merry way.
Lucky for Josie, I had done my research ahead of time. Back in the day, people did remove nasal tumors from dogs. Then they realized – it had zero impact on survival. It didn’t help even a little bit. I’m lucky I knew that fact. If I didn’t, I might have believed him when he tried to convince me it would be good for her.
I hugged Josie tightly that night. But I had no idea what the next step was. Who do I call? My primary vet? The internal medicine vet? Will they call when they get the surgeon’s letter? Was there even another option? Would an oncologist even consult with me about Josie since we don’t know for sure it is cancer? I was suddenly lost in the world of various specialists – and no one seemed to be helping.