Surgery Day – Wednesday 27th May 2009

May 27, 2009

We woke up early, got Luke’s breakfast done and awaited Rob’s call to firstly, find out how Barney’s night had gone, and secondly, the plan of action for the day.

He called quite early and told us that Barney had been fine overnight and that they were going to get on with things as soon as possible.

We received a call around 2pm to let us know that Barney was under anaesthetic and that they’d be proceeding imminently with the chest X-Rays and checking to make sure that the tumour wasn’t too close to his tongue and that if there were any problems that they would let us know.

We just prayed that the X-Rays and location of the tumour would be fine and surgery could proceed.

We didn’t have to wait long at all for a follow up call. By around 3pm, the phone rang. As I looked at the screen and saw it was the vets, my stomach knotted. I honestly thought that there was something on the X-Ray and that was it, Surgery was off.

Much to our surprise, they were calling to tell us that Barney was now in recovery, his mandibulectomy done and everything had gone well. We just couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know whether to cry with shock, happiness or relief, so I think I cried with all three.

We walked around just grinning at one another and felt so happy. Anxious about what our boy was going to be like when we saw him again, how he would cope with part of his jaw missing and just generally after a big surgery like this.

We didn’t get to see him that day. He was left to rest for a while and again, to our surprise, we received a phone call around 7pm from Rob, telling us that he’d eaten for the first time (this was literally just a few hours since surgery) and that he was looking quite bright.

He explained that they’d had to remove the left canine (the big long tooth at the front of the mouth), which he’d really hoped to have saved, because they needed to ensure that the entire tumour was removed, with a good, clear margin either side so that the cancer was completely gone and none remained. In total, Barney had lost 9 teeth. His tongue would now permanently hang out of his mouth and because he has such a massive tongue (it’s abnormally long!) it’d be noticeable. We were shocked, but it was a case of doing what needed to be done to make sure our boy was okay.

He told us the Professor (Dick White) had done the surgery with him so we knew that Barney really had been in the best hands. They’d removed his lymph node and had noticed some “pin-pricks” of colour on it. This could mean that the cancer had spread, but it could also just be that, because Barney is a dark (black) dog, that it could just be pigmentation. We’d know in a week or so.

He also advised that they’d now send off the tissues that had been removed, for histology and they’d be checked to make sure that the margin they’d taken was ample enough to have removed all of the cancer.

We slept much better that night, knowing it was all done and he was okay.


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