A hair follicle trauma or an insect bite

Argo does not have cancer. The bump was benign and the biopsy report stated that it was a hair follicle trauma or an insect bite.

How they aren’t able to tell the difference between the two, but still know that it was one or the other and not one of the gazillion other things that could result in a fairly large, tumor-y looking bump is beyond me, but I am not going to waste time splitting hairs over that. It’s not cancer, and I am so freaking relieved.

It was around this time last year that Argo did have cancer, and we made several trips to the amazing veterinary school/hospital two hours away for diagnosis/surgery/follow-up. I just kept thinking, here we go again, worrying that since the bump was at his side, there wouldn’t be enough spare tissue to remove to get wide margins around the tumor this time, so the next step would be radiation, but radiation is way more expensive than we could afford (but how do you put a price tag on your dog’s life?) and even if we could afford it, the tissue gets so weak from the treatment that it’s important to keep it from trauma and the little dog likes to jump on Argo all the time and how would we stop that and would we have to give up the little dog and oh my god my brain can go a mile a minute when I let it.

I’d like to thank the jerkwad at the microchip company for feeding my overactive brain by telling me last year that my dog would probably get cancer and die young because he was just destined to and the microchip had nothing to do with the cancer even though the chip was at the base of the tumor and the oncology specialists couldn’t figure why a dog Argo’s age would get that kind of tumor in that location until they found the microchip. Because, for the past two weeks, I have heard his smug voice in my head saying, “I told you so,” every time I checked Argo’s stitches.

Well, Mr. Microchip Man, I TOLD YOU SO. I am not a scientist, or an oncologist, or a doctor, but people who were told me the chip/tumor connection seemed highly suspicious, and while I will continue to have odd bumps biopsied, I also will continue to believe that my dog’s microchip caused his cancer, and it does not mean that my dog is destined to die young. It means that the soulless butt-wipes at the microchip company play on your heartstrings and fears about losing your pet so they can sell you a product that may actually be the cause of your pet loss.

Of course, this is all my opinion, because causation in cancer cases is very very hard to prove. That’s my disclaimer so the microchip company doesn’t get on my case about it.

My other disclaimer is that I honestly believe that if your dog is over 40 lbs and has enough fur so he doesn’t get cold in the winter, there is no reason or excuse for dressing him. But given the choice between

  1. Putting him in a cone collar that will allow him to knock everything off of every surface in our house, terrorize the cat and the little dog, and cut up the backs of our legs when he runs into them
  2. Watching him every single second until the stitches come out, including taking him with me to the bathroom
  3. Allowing him to remove his own stitches and running to the vet ER to deal with the resulting infection
  4. Putting a t-shirt on him so he can’t get to his incision

I will chose the t-shirt. And I will take pictures of it, because it’s pretty damn funny.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take care of all the things I ignored for the past two weeks while I waited for the results. After, of course, I play bad music at deafening decibels and jump around the room with my dogs for a few minutes.


  1. So happy for your (and Argo’s) good news of no cancer! I’m awaiting my own “no cancer” news. Morgan had a growth removed from her foot and I should hear something from pathology soon. The cone collar is murdering my legs though! Any advice on how to fix that? T shirt for a foot?

    Does Argo get to celebrate the great news? Maybe an extra treat or two?

  2. Yay! I’m so happy that Argo is okay that it suppresses my rage at Mr. Microchip man for saying such a vile thing to you. WTF?

  3. Good news! I knew all your good karma was going to work in your favor. :)

  4. That is such great news about Argo!! I’m sure you’re relieved, and I am too!! I know how special y’all’s relationship is.

    I too am a firm believer in the dress dogs only for health reasons. I think in this case it’s perfectly acceptable

  5. Boston bad music? No way!

    Don’t be a tease with those pictures. We want to see a dog in a t-shirt!

  6. Oh he is so handsome. I find dogs far more handsome than men.

    Perhaps I should leave now actually. . .

    But such excellent news.

  7. HOORAY!!!!! for Argo and for you. Argo looks pretty good in the shirt. But how about the doggie halloween costumes? Cute but totally obnoxious. I would not subject my friends to that humiliation.(tiny rant).

  8. Well, I’m glad your dog is fine. It is a bit wearing on the nerves to wait and wait.

    I read about the Crap Garden and thoroughly enjoyed the telling of it.

  9. Thanks for setting me straight. I didn’t even notice the t-shirt.

  10. Hey Allie,
    Hopefully there won’t be a next time, but use Vick’s Vapor Rub, or whatever they have at the health food store that is comparable. We used to recommend it to clients after their dogs had surgery and worked like a charm 99 times out of ten. There is an odd dog out there that actually likes the smell, but most of the time rubbing it around (NOT ON) the incision will deter them from ripping their sutures out. I’m so glad it’s not cancer and I’ve passed on your suspicions to the vets I used to work with. My large dog has two (he’s a flight risk) and my other dog has one. Next time I’ll think twice about it.
    Velocity Grrl

  11. Anonymous says

    What a sweet face! I wanted to find a pic of Argo. I know you have one on your avatar but I wanted to see a bigger pic of the cutie pie.

    So glad that he’s cancer free. I got Dingo Girl from a shelter and they had already microchipped her. I think I would have done it if they hadn’t.

    Dingo Girl has a cable knit sweater for days when it’s really cold — like 20 degrees. If it’s warmer than that she will absolutely refuse to wear it. I, of course, look like a bad doggy mom when we’re out walking in 30 degree temps and every other dog is wearing North Face and Columbia.

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