We couldn’t get a vet appointment yesterday, but today Steve was able to get Dionne in to see Dr. Scoggin first thing this morning. After what he learned, all I can say is: it’s a good thing Steve and I have day jobs. Maybe we should consider abandoning amateur veterinary science altogether.

Dr. Scoggin quickly rejected the notion that Dionne was suffering from panosteitis. She also dismissed our weekend theory that the little bump between the toes of the topside of her right paw was causing her pain. (She thought it was nothing.) Instead she focused on the angry red growth on the underside of the paw.

Here it is. Nasty looking little thing, isn’t it?

It was a histiocytoma, she declared — a benign tumor of a sort that commonly afflicts pets. The unfortunate part was its location. (Steve says the vet didn’t make him feel bad that we had not recognized its presence immediately; she said they can be hard to see at first.)

I suppose some good news is that it should go away by itself. Dr. Scoggin said she could remove it surgically, but given its location, there were likely to be complications (such as Dionne ripping out the stitches.) She gave us an antiseptic solution in which to wash it daily, oral antibiotics (to help prevent any infection), and a cream to apply to it every evening.

The bad news is she said it could take a couple of months to disappear. She said we need not restrict Dionne’s activity during that time; we could even take her on walks.

She also lent us a leather booty that she hoped might protect the paw from irritation.

Dionne may not have liked the boot, but Tucker thought it was intriguing.

We took it off when Dionne was napping in her kennel (so that she wouldn’t try to chew it off). But when we tried to put it on before I walked with her to the mailbox, she almost instantly flung it off, and we couldn’t figure out how to secure it.

So I walked her bootless.  Or rather, I walked. She limped. Steve and I are sad to see this. I’m not sure how Dionne feels.  Steve and I have been reading Temple Grandin’s book, Animals in Translation, and Grandin says animals don’t get depressed when they’re in pain, the way people do.

I hope not.

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