Last Friday, I found a pair of small lumps on Curzon's ribcage, midline between his armpit and his keelbone. The icy weather kept me from taking him into the vet immediately, so his appointment was Monday afternoon to have them assessed. Our vet looked at the lumps, checked his X-rays that were taken back in August, and sampled both lumps to send to the lab. Yesterday afternoon I received the call with the results.
It's likely to be anaplastic osteosarcoma - bone cancer.
This cancer is not common in small/medium sized dogs, although it usually hits between ages 7-9 and as Curzon is 8 now he's right in the range. Presentation as a tumor on the rib bones is also uncommon, though not unheard of, as this cancer usually affects the long bones of the legs. I am hopeful that I caught it early enough that we can treat it before it metastasizes, and currently Curzon does not appear to be in pain so that is a good sign. The lump is clearly tender since it was poked with a needle, but he's still romping around and playing and being his normal goofy self, so that is promising.
Today I will talk to the specialists at SVS and get him an appointment for x-rays, labwork, and assessment as soon as possible and hopefully today. Once we know what we are dealing with we will move forward with our options to keep him as healthy and happy as possible. If surgery is likely to give us a good shot at remission, then we will do our best to make that option happen; but if it is too late for that to be helpful then we will not put him through the experience.
There are many unknowns at this point, and that is the hardest part of all. What I do know is this - I love my boyo with all my heart, and I will fight this cancer with him as long as he wants to be with us. There are too many beaches to swim, frisbees to chase, and flyball heats to run to give up now.