Poor Bubba. You might remember that we thought he had kennel cough back in October. Three rounds of antibiotics and he didn't get better. At best, he was still as active as usual, eating like we would expect, and snorfing up his nose half the day, sneezing copious quantities of really yucky stuff the rest of the day. All over the place. So, after the third trip to the vet ($950), we get a referral to the specialist. And oh, by the way, why don't we have her look at that lump on his ankle while we are at it? The specialist tells us that the lump is definitely a slow growing soft cell sarcoma, and should be removed before it cuts off the circulation to his foot. The nose thing is likely either a tumor, or Aspirgillus fungus, and he needs to be CT'd, scoped, and biopsied. Prognosis for a tumor would be iffy. Prognosis for Aspirgillus without treatment is a slow growing fungus which will misshape the the sinus cavity, stop food intake, and an eventual starving to death. Treatment (about $800) is a topical medication applied under anesthesia, and they fill up the sinuses and rotate the dog until the entire upper and lower sinus is coated, then another CT and scope and biopsy in three months. Obviously, I can't do that to him. Cost for initial diagnosis by scope and biopsy is $2,400. So, today we did the CT and scope, etc. The CT showed a mass (what ended up being lots of snot, which she removed) in the lower sinus, and another small mass in the upper sinus, over the eye. His leg tumor was removed. She does not feel that there is a tumor in the sinus. The lower sinus was scoped, and a small fungal mass was found, but not large enough to make the diagnosis of aspirgillus fungus. So, a hole was bored above his eye into his upper front sinus, and more biopsies were taken. We'll know in two to three days what the biopsies say. Bubba was whining and crying when we got there to pick him up. The doctor told us that she thought that the anesthesia made him whine. She said that he is a good healthy dog and the biggest concern over the next few days is that he won't stay quiet enough. He has an inch long slice above his eye, and his forehead has been shaved. There is a very thin tube coming out of the top of his head and stitched on his scalp to keep it safe. And, of course his foot is bandaged where the tumor was removed. He is bleeding out of his nose, but not a lot. Sneezes are going to be bloody, so I hope that we can limit them to when he goes outside. He did poop at the hospital, but had trouble pooping this evening, and it's funny how smart dogs are. When he had troubles peeing years ago, he wouldn't drink water until we got his bladder drained. Tonight, he doesn't want to eat a bite. I think it's too painful to bear weight on his hind leg and bear down at the same time. He's sleeping now. We made them give us a cone, just to keep the other dog away from the tube on his head, and to keep him from chewing on his leg when we are asleep at night. I tricked him into taking a pain pill. So far he's not sneezing much, but I'm not looking forward to it. I have covered my area rugs with old blankets. I can't believe I'm spending this much money on my dog! Of course it went on the Visa card. I can't watch him slowly suffer and starve to death, though. He's always happy to see me. He never lies or calls me names. He never broke anything of mine then said "So what?" He never stole anything from me. I love him and wouldn't want to see him in pain. I know that he is getting older, but otherwise he is generally in good health. I always hoped that as he got older he would just slow down and eventually have a short illness. The doctor says that the fungus, if that is it, could take a year or more to die from. So, wish me and Bubba luck. In all honesty, he taught me so much about being happy and enjoying the little things in life. I don't know how long we can afford to go on like this, so I'm keeping a good thought that he will make a full recovery, and we will have more time to enjoy and appreciate each other.