Murphy Update II

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.

144 Comments

  1. Sending lots of love to Murphy and your family! I hope that he recovers from his surgery and I am so glad the tumor on the jaw seems to be nothing to worry about!!

  2. OH my gosh! I’m so sorry about poor Murphy. You are doing the best for him. I hope there’s some comfort in that. I pray that all will be ok for him.

  3. I’m definitely thinking of you! It’s hard when our pets are sick, because they can’t tell us what’s wrong! Hoping he recovers fully!

  4. I am SOOO sorry to hear about what Murphy and you guys are going thru. I will be thinking of all of you and sending get well wished to sweet Murphy. Hugs to all of you.

  5. Oh I hope the poor little guy will be ok!! It’s so hard to see our pets in pain and I wish Murphy a speedy and easy and full recovery!

  6. Thinking of you guys. I lost my Murphy last May (Border Collie) due to bladder cancer and I will always have a soft spot for any dog named Murph. His chances sound 10x better than mine did so don’t let my story scare you. Loving him is the best thing you guys can do!

  7. My goodness. I’m in tears reading this; such a big part of why I started reading your blog is Murphy. I took my pug Tank to therapy dog training because of you two. My little girls love Murphy, too. So know the three of us (and Tank our pug) will pray for Murphy tonight. He’s a rock star. He’ll be okay. It must be heartbreaking to watch him in pain, poor little guy.

  8. Oh Murphy! I know little brother is getting a lot of attention but this is no way to get more! Poor guy. I’ll be praying for a full recovery. So glad to hear the Jaw was nothing serious (fingers crossed).

  9. Oh Poor Murphy. Reading this breaks my heart. I just had to re-home my beloved shih tzu meatball after she bit my 2 Year Old. Thankfully my wonderful parents are taking her down the Cape to live, but I cried a lot over the weekend as well. These little fur friends are seriously family. Some people don’t realize how emptional it is to see your dog in pain or uncomforatble. I wish the best of luck to you guys, and that Murphy has a speedy, painless recovery. Get better little pug friend!

  10. I’m thinking about you guys and little Murphy is in my thoughts and prayers <3 it sounds like you guys are doing all you can and he couldn't be more loved and supported! Praying for a speedy recovery for your little sweetie Xoxox

  11. Oh Tina! I am so sorry you and your family are going through this right now. I don’t comment often but I have been following you a Murphy for the past 6 years or so. It sounds like he is in the mend. Just know your family is in my heart and I have nothing but positive go thoughts going your way about Murphy.

  12. Oh my gosh, I teared up just reading this!! Poor Murphy … and poor family!!! You’ve all been through a lot! Sending hugs, love, prayers, and wishes for successful and speedy healing for Murphy your way.

  13. Was in tears reading this. Sorry for all your pain Murphy & family! Hope he is healthy and running around soon.

  14. I’m a vet tech and just want to say thank you for taking such AWESOME, AMAZING care of Murphy. By doing everything you can, Murphy is teaching the clinic staff some important lessons, which will hopefully help future doggie and kitty patients. We always say it’s something new everyday. Did Murphy have a dentigerous cyst? Get well soon Murphy!

  15. Thinking of you and Murphy. So sorry that he (and you!) had to go through this. I had a pug for 11 years so Murphy holds a special place in my heart. Pugs are the best. Get well Murphy!

  16. Oh my goodness! I would be absolutely beside myself if my pup Henry had to go through all of this so I can only imagine what you are going through. Sending so much love and healing thoughts to little Murph!

  17. Ugh, poor Murphy!! I teared up reading this. I hope he recovers quickly and has many more years to spend with you guys!

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