It’s Not a Supernumerary Nipple

Trust me!

Penny, if you hadn’t noticed, is an odd girl. There’s the tongue, and the trick knees, and as the Dorktor who made the housecall here mentioned, “Hey, doggy, you’re wall-eyed!” She has an odd amount of pug mammaries, too. My family and friends spent many hours debating how many nipples a dog should have, and finally, I googled it… Evidently, six to ten are the norm, and odd numbers are not unheard of. Penny has nine titties. It’s part of what makes her awesome.

I noticed about a month ago a little balding spot on her right front leg. A week or so later, I noticed it looked a little warty. Okay. So it got a little bigger, but not anything overly huge. Last week, however, I looked at it and it just seemed a little too big, and a little too… not quite right. I told Mr. Shoe to make Penny an appointment with the vet, hoping that since the vet is a pug man himself he’d be able to say, “Yeah, that’s her mystery tenth titty!”

Not a leg boob.

Since pugs are prone to things growing on them that aren’t necessarily good to leave on them, our dear vet suggested that it be removed. It’s not huge, but it is hard and round and on her leg, and he suspects it could be a mast cell tumor. It could be a wart or callus too, I guess, but it doesn’t do anyone any favors to wait around. He said that since it is definitely anchored to her skin and not her bone or muscle, it should be an easy removal (if she were a person, it could be done without general anesthesia). Because it is on her skin, and is potentially a mast cell tumor (as pugs are prone to get) it is best to get it now, because this way she should not have to lose part or all of her lower leg and paw. It sounds like it isn’t that big a deal, and with any luck it’ll just be sliced off, and we’ll have to watch her for more weird bumps (especially on that particular site) from here on out.

She is also getting her teeth cleaned, which is actually probably far more involved and risky, but hell, since they have to knock her out, they might as well do the works. And she has fishy breath.

Due to the possible nature of the possible mast cell tumor, the vet wants her to have this done this week or early next week. (Again, I think it’s mostly because he has pugs, knows that these things aren’t easily determined from the outside, and that early action not only saves lives but also legs, and trust me, Penny has a hard enough time getting around on the four she has. As he put it, with his awesome South African accent, “It isn’t going to get better if you leave it there, and I wouldn’t bet on it not getting worse.”) He took a bunch of blood on Saturday, which completely pissed Penny off (he did give her a sticker for her troubles). I guess this blood work will help determine if she’s okay for the general anesthesia, but also can help decide what the course of action  might be if her lump is a mast cell tumor.

He also ordered a thyroid test. See those buggy eyes? Not because of them. There’s been some, er, um, weight gain. I think I can explain that. See those buggy eyes? They’re so… cute. So we tend to feed them. I can’t get around much (we’re not even going there right today… let’s just say I’ll be happy when my tests are done and hopefully acted upon quickly.) and Mr. Shoe doesn’t have a lot of time to walk her, and it’s hot and you would not believe how pugs overheat (heat, with an H). She’s not gotten boatloads of exercise. So I am pretty damn sure we’re the ones to blame on that end.

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