Afraid For My Shadow (Updated)

UPDATE: The vet just called. Rigby has cancer. Further tests have to be done to determine if it’s Lymphoma or Leukemia, and then we’ll know treatment options. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. We’re devastated but hopeful that it’s been caught early and we’ll have options.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. xoxo Heather

sweet Rigby

On Saturday morning, we took Rigby to get a haircut at our regular groomer. They’re fast and do a good job, and most importantly, they love Rigby. It’s always so weird around our house when Rigby isn’t here. She follows me everywhere I go, so when she isn’t here I feel strange, like my shadow is missing. Luckily, it wasn’t long before we got the call that she was ready. Mike and Annabel picked her up while I stayed back with a napping James.

When they returned, Rigby ran straight for me to get kisses and scratches. I noticed that the fur around her face hadn’t been cut as short as we’d requested, and said as much to Mike. He looked at me strangely.

“I think that’s because the groomer found some lumps in Rigby’s neck. She said we need to get them checked at the vet right away.”

Other than her bladder surgery in 2009, Rigby has been in pretty good health. She’s developed some skin tags, and occasionally has joint and digestive issues, but that’s all fairly standard aging stuff. I’m not naïve, though…she’s going to  be eleven years old on December 4th. Every day, it becomes more likely that one of these minor issues will become something major.

We were able to get an appointment with the vet right away. The vet gave her a thorough examination, and discovered swelling in the glands on both sides of Rigby’s neck (the left side being bigger), and some swelling in the glands near her back legs. The vet thinks the swelling in her neck is in her salivary glands. She took some blood and did a needle biopsy on the largest gland in Rigby’s neck. The test results normally take four or five days, so we likely won’t know anything until after Thanksgiving.

The vet says that, for now, it’s inconclusive. She said it could be cancer, but that it also could be something inconsequential. In the meantime, we have to pay close attention to Rigby. If she has any trouble eating, or is drooling, rubbing her neck against the ground, seems extra-tired, or acts at all out of the ordinary, we have to bring her back in.

The good news is that Rigby hasn’t been acting out of the ordinary. She’s still eating and drinking, still playing with her bird toy, and still following me all over the house. She always finds a way to let me know when she’s hurting, and I don’t think she is right now.

But still. I am so worried.

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