We dropped Hoppy off for his biopsy in the morning. Shortly after we got a call from the surgeon. She wanted to know why we were doing a biopsy when this was clearly cancer. She suggested she just remove the tumor. Otherwise we would just be putting him through the anesthesia process twice—so this would spare us the $750 biopsy cost, by going straight to surgery ($1500).
The surgeon, Dr. Walesby, was an angel from heaven. She talked to us on the phone for almost an hour going through all the potential scenarios. I had worried that if they tried to remove the tumor they would have to take Hoppy’s jaw. And I didn’t see that being any kind of quality of life. She said she would remove the tumor and some of the bone, but that there would be plenty of chin left and he would be able to eat normally. She would reconstruct a lip from the surrounding skin. She said he would have to get used to pulling his tongue back a little farther, but otherwise it shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment.
She also said on the .000001% chance that it wasn’t cancer, whatever it was, Hoppy wasn’t able to fight it off with his diminished immune system. So it should be removed either way.
We gave her the go ahead to do the surgery.
When we picked Hoppy up he was in good spirits. Best news, there was no cone of shame. He just needed to take it easy for a couple days. His chin looked good. It was the hair cut, well shave, I suppose, that made him look a little silly. But he seemed to have some relief.
Within a day he was grooming himself. I was so happy. That meant he was feeling ok. And this had been the first time he had been able to groom himself properly—without a tumor in the way, for a long time. Finally things were looking up for Hoppy.
Chin Surgery = $1500.00.
Total vet bills to date = $6450.09
Ella Putsché is the executive director of Photographers for Animals.
Recognizing the impact and influence imagery can have on an audience to
take action, she founded Photographers for Animals to promote animal
issues and to help organizations utilize opportunities for photography and film.