Early last week a bigger than baseball size lump showed up on my almost 12 year old Vizsla Blaze's neck just under her jaw. It was very hard and not painful to her to touch. She was in no pain, eating ok, and acting normal other than sleeping a lot. She has had some benign fatty tumors that are small and soft. This one on her neck was nothing like those, huge, rock hard, and going to cause airway problems if it got much bigger. We gave it a couple days to be sure it was not something like a wasp sting, hematoma, blocked salivary gland, etc. It did not get better and maybe even got bigger.
Location and symptoms or lack of, and her age had me believing this was very likely Lymphoma. Before going to the vet I had the talk with the wife deciding at her age to go with the least invasive treatment if it was cancer and to let Blaze live out the rest of her life with dignity and spoiled.
A needle aspirate of the tumor or lump was done with a full checkup and blood work. You know it is bad when the vet walks back in the room with tears in her eyes. In house it looked like it was going to be Thyroid Carcinoma and the wait was to determine what stage Blaze was in. Worse news than Lymphoma. I wanted to wait for the blood work and tests on the needle draw before telling anyone, but I did tell my wife, that we were certain, and it would take a miracle for the final results to come back anything good. My wife did not take it well.
What was to take one day, took two. And miracles do happen. The results came back with no cancer cells and good blood work. It was her Thyroid, but they could not tell what was causing the problem. It was possible the cancer cells were just missed since it was a needle draw. Rather than do another needle draw, do cultures, or even exploratory surgery, we opted for a broad spectrum antibiotic and hope for the best. $711 later, the baseball is almost gone and Blaze is her normal self still.