As most of you know, my German Shepherd Xena had a seizure Saturday morning. I took her to the vet yesterday. Dr. Kramer found a small mass in her rectum (about the size of a walnut) and kept her for a bunch of tests: not just to try to find out the cause of the seizure, but also to investigate the mass. I left Xena at the vet's office, full of trepidation.
Dr. Kramer called me later yesterday. The tone in her voice was not good. She told me that the first tests said that some level in her lymph nodes were elevated, which would mean that the mass has metastasized. She also told me that it's possible that if it is cancer, that this specific type would produce a hormone in her which would then raise her calcium levels. The raise in her calcium levels would have caused the seizure.
That was yesterday. As you can imagine, I've been close to hysterical since then. Over night I agonized over what I would do if the news continued to be bad. I took her and Annie to a park near the house this morning just as the sun was coming up, and Xena perked right up, even running a little bit, ever on the prowl for squirrels.
But the news was a little better today. Her blood tests came back today and her calcium levels were not elevated, which is good. There is some evidence of liver damage, but that could have been caused by the seizure. We still don't know what caused the seizure. The next step would be to do a MRI, but vets usually wait to see if she'll have another one.
We are still waiting for one more test result - the test to see if the mass is benign or malignant and whether it's causing the elevation in her lymph nodes.. So there's nothing definite right now with respect to cancer. It's a slow growing tumor and it also might be what's causing her to be incontinent. So maybe this could be as simple as a growth that needs to be removed. I won't know until tomorrow.
So there's a lot going on with Xena. But she is nine years old, after all. It would be a great birthday present (my birthday's tomorrow) to know I could still have her around for a little while longer, but only if I know her quality of life will be ok.
I had the vet tell me three times about all the results - I told her that Xena is a popular gal and a lot of people are wanting to know what's going on. Dr. Kramer totally understood. "She is the perfect German Shepherd," she said, "gentle and sweet and gorgeous. I can see why so many people love her."
I'll keep you all posted. Thanks for letting me tell her story.