November 23 and 24, 2015

Thanks to Sonya, Ferg's foster mom, for this photo that I absolutely love.
White Dog and the rest of the White Dog Army looked nervously as Steve clipped on Ferguson's leash to take him to Dr. Julia for his surgical followup. "Don't worry," I promised, "he WILL be home with us when we return." Their looks were not those of total belief but they knew in their hearts that I would keep my word.

At the vet's office Ferguson allowed Dr. Julia to actually put her fingers in his mouth and lift up his lip. Of course, Steve held him in a tight loving embrace. He has been draining from the surgical site but that was to be expected and was not a bad thing. "He looks like he is healing well," Dr. Julia encouraged. "Is he eating all right?" "Ravenously," Steve replied. "Using both sides of his mouth."

"The draining will continue for a while. I froze the tissue during surgery so there is some sloughing but unless he starts to swell or it becomes discolored or tender all is good. What is with his eye?"

Fergus has been squinting. We have written it off to allergies or just the trauma of his face being pulled and stretched during surgery. "Let's take a closer look," she said.

The amazing thing to me about veterinarians is that they have an incredibly wide range of knowledge about different species and deal with their issues from snout to tail. She put drops into his eye to dilate them and took out her scope. "Wow," I said, "I am in awe. MY doctor would have written me a referral and then stopped looking at my face altogether for the rest of my exam." She laughed. "Don't see any ulcers or tears. Let's try medicated drops and see what happens. Let me get some for you."

The histology report had not come back yet. So we tabled any real discussion awaiting confirmation. "I will call if it comes in this afternoon or tomorrow," Dr. Julia promised. "I want to see Ferguson again next week."

There was much excitement when we pulled up and Ferguson jumped out of the van.

Continuing the story...

Tuesday early afternoon, Dr. Julia called. The report was back. I took a deep breath and White Dog called the Army around us. Steve and Candace were not home.

It was a good side of bad news conversation. Ferg does NOT have melanoma, rather his oral cancer cells are of the squamous type. The good news is that these cells do not generally spread into other body parts. However there is a medium to high risk that they will reoccur and will move into surrounding bone and tissue. How long before reoccurance is an unknown. It is a slower growing disease but can have bursts of activity. Our vet froze the area as she excised the tumor which is an effective treatment for now.

Monday we will sit with her after doing full skull x-rays (although he had a series done during his Summer bout with horse nettle addiction, those did not show any issue with his jaw or palate not even the tumor just removed) and chart a course of action. The situation is still bad but somehow seems a little better than what we were thinking before the report.

Hope...you are such a beautiful bird with such a sweet song.


Random Felines said...

while we wish it wasn't the "c", it is heartening to know it isn't as bad as it could have been. we are sending Ferguson and all of you MUCH purrs. Have a wonderful turkey day

JudyMae said...

Something to be thankful for. That is so much better than it could be. I know diseases in animals aren't always the same as in people and this isn't exactly what Ferguson has but my Dad had squamous cell skin cancer and lived for 40 years after that. Here's hoping for a long, happy life for Ferguson.

Brian said...

Hugs to sweet Ferguson from all of us. No really bad news is a bit of good news fur sure.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Ferguson's doctor sounds so kind and knowledgable!
We stay by your side forever.