Oh, poor Murphy. I don’t even know where to begin…
Well, the past couple of days have been rough. We were stressed. We were scared. We cried. We felt totally heartbroken. And there were a number of moments when we thought it might be time to say goodbye to our beloved pug.
After I wrote my first Murphy update, things took a turn for the worse. I bent down to (softly) pat his head and he went absolutely ballistic. He frantically ran through the house yelping in pain for what seemed like an eternity. It was awful, and I knew something needed to be done for him ASAP. There was no way he could wait until his scheduled surgery on Tuesday. I called the vet, explained how much pain Murphy was in, and she made us an appointment with the surgeon for the next morning with plans to do the surgery later in the day. Thank goodness. But, then things got worse…
A couple of hours later, I received a phone call from the surgeon. When she was reviewing Murphy’s CT scan for the surgery the next day, she found another mass, but, this time, on Murphy’s jaw. She said it was possibly a tumor””perhaps malignant, maybe benign””but it was definitely something to be concerned about since it was fairly large and likely needed to be removed. Whaaaaatttttt? Mal and I were absolutely floored. Murphy never acted like there was anything wrong with his mouth””I mean, he housed food and chewed on his Nayla bone all the time””so how could this be? We were really confused, but, at the same time, even more concerned about Murphy. He would likely need””not one””but two surgeries to remove the ear tumor/infection and then one for his jaw. The thought of putting Murphy through two surgeries made us so sad. And if we did, what would that mean for his quality of life afterward? Ugh.
We talked with Murphy’s surgeon the next morning. She was wonderful””kind, compassionate, patient””and she answered all of our questions and more. At the end of our conversation though, it was up to us to make some really tough decisions for our little pug. Murphy was in so much pain, he needed the tumor removed from his ear, but, with any type of surgery, there came plenty of potential risks/side effects: Paralysis in his face, an eye lid that might not ever close (and would need drops for the rest of his life), worsening vestibular disease, permanent head tilt”¦ the list went on and on. And, if he made it through all of that, there were plenty of potential risks/side effects that went along with the jaw surgery too.
After that, there were a lot of “what if” conversations and lots (and lots) of tears. We eventually decided to have the ear surgery done, which would include a biopsy of the mass in Murphy’s jaw, and then we would make some decisions based on what was found.
During his surgery, when the surgeon went to remove the tumor in his ear canal, it made a suction/popping noise because it was under so much pressure. Can you imagine how that felt inside Murphy’s head? Ugh. Her telling us this made my heart hurt. I can’t even imagine how much pain he was in. She also said the inner ear is suppose to be soft and smooth, almost like an eggshell, but Murphy’s was thick and pocketed from all of his ear infections. Poor pug. But, on the positive side, most dogs who have this surgery do quite well afterward as long as everything goes okay with their recovery. Fingers crossed. Lots of prayers.
Ok, this is where things get interesting”¦
When the vet went to biopsy the mass in Murphy’s jaw, she put the needle inside and”¦ wait for it… an empty cavity. It looked like some sort of mass/tumor on the CT scan, but it was actually a sac filled with fluid. She said she had never seen anything like before and wanted to do some research to figure out what it was exactly. (I always knew our dog was weird.) The vet’s best guess: As a puppy, Murphy likely got a bone cyst and it grew with his development. There aren’t any nerves in or around his jaw and teeth, which is probably why it never bothered him. Basically, it’s all he’s ever known, so we’ll likely just leave it alone, unless the results of the biopsy say otherwise. Crazy, right?
Murphy came home yesterday afternoon. He’s doing ok, but he definitely has a long recovery ahead of him. Once again, thank you for your kind words and support. Please keep Murphy in your prayers.