Honey’s Got A Nasty…?

Had a great title for today’s post. I just know it was going to be hilarious.

But I’m not feeling very funny right now.

Honey’s got a nasty… I don’t know what. And she needs an operation.

Honey the golden retriever chews a bully stick.

If I had known you’d be holding back my breakfast, I would have hidden a piece of my bully stick for later.

We were working after unpacking from spending a few days in a camping cabin in the woods. I looked down at Honey lying on the floor and noticed a nasty, pink, something or other on her right front paw.

Right between her paw and dew claw pad is a big, soft, swelling.

Luckily the vet could see her right away.

I expected that it was a reaction to a bug bite. Or something irritating her skin.

But the vet said she thought it was a benign tumor.

Okay, dogs get bumps. They’re not always major.

But three things have me worried:

  • There’s not a lot of extra skin around the area to help ease the removal and healing.
  • When they took fluid out of the bump, the vet looked at it and said, “Gee, I didn’t expect to see that.”
  • Once they made the bump smaller by removing fluid, they found a hard nodule at the base.

We’re taking Honey back to the vet in a few minutes to get blood work done. And next Thursday we’ll be taking her in for surgery.

Yep, a few days before we’re hoping to close on our new boat.

Honey the golden retriever in front of camping cabin.

Well you keep moving me around. Don’t you expect my body to react by being weird?

I’m worried. And it doesn’t help that three friends are going through cancer worries with their own dogs.

So keep Honey in your thoughts for the next week. I’ll let you know what’s going on when I do.

Oh, and if you have any stories about nasty little things growing on your dog that turned out to be absolutely nothing, feel free to share.




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  1. Sorry to hear this, having to wait is pretty tough indeed. My dog Carter had to have quite a few lipomas (benign fatty type tumors) removed throughout his lifetime. The first one was the worst because we had to play the waiting game before it could be removed. Thinking of you guys.

  2. First of all, we sure hope it is nothing with Honey. I get bumps all the time and they go away on their own in a couple months. But you should also know by now, we only get serious stuff on the weekends, in the evenings or when other important life events are happening. It’s what dogs do to keep humans on their toes. It is a good thing you found it now rather than when you are on the boat, but it is still a scary thing but we will thing positive and wish Honey all the best.

    • So you dogs also wait for the weekends to have emergencies too? I’m glad to know it’s not just us.

      And yes, we’re very thankful this turned up before we went on the boat.

      Thanks for the encouragement and good wishes.

  3. Shadow has a few lipomas (fatty tumors) and other benign bumps in various places, too. Has had them for a few years so we just keep checking them from time to time to make sure they still are benign.

    I understand your worrying, Pamela. I really do. Especially now, with my own sweet girl possibly facing lymphoma. But try to have faith that it will be benign and that Honey will be fine after the surgery and a few days rest. You need to be upbeat for Honey so she can relax. And if you need to talk, pm me on FB or send me an email, okay? I’m not going to be far from home, and my iphone is always with me.

    Love to all of you! Keeping y’all close in my prayers and thoughts.

  4. Oh no, so sorry to hear this. Sending good thoughts your way.

  5. Edie Chase says:

    Sending good thoughts that it will be benign. My dog Pepsi had a large lump that was benign for years, hoping that’s all it is.

  6. I have one of those stories! Ohh! Ohh! Call on me!

    My story is not just word of mouth either, it’s about Wilson. He was lying on the bed one day in an odd position with his head draped over the edge. This sort of exposed the area over his ribs and under his armpit. It looked misshapen, and when I ran my hand over it, he had a large lump nearly the size of my palm! How did we miss that one?! Location and furry dog, I guess. Of course we went straight to the vet, expecting the worst. There was a young and inexperienced relief vet on duty and she did a needle aspiration on it. She looked at the goo she collected and blurted out the it didn’t look good. Those fatty lipomas don’t usually have goo like that. It’s probably cancer……Great! We go home, cry and wait for the biopsy that comes back as benign but with a few mast cells as well. The regular vet wants to see him and test again. This time a much more seasoned vet pulled the sample and was confidant it was just a fatty tumor in a odd (and bad) location. And she was right! The bad part is, instead of being between the skin and muscle like most of them, this lipoma is between the muscle and Wilson’s ribs. No way to remove it easily w/o lots of damage and pain. So now we have to hope it never grows much bigger.

    • Wilson would have to do something wacky, wouldn’t he? :)

      I also couldn’t believe I missed something so obvious for so long. And I had just been grooming her. I guess we’ll know more soon.

      Hope you’re finding your paddle. Miss seeing you and the boys around blogville.

  7. We are so sorry to hear about Honey. Sending all our thoughts, love and positive thoughts your way! xo

  8. Meagan & Merlin says:

    Sending hugs and love ur way xox Merlin has had a skin tag on his ear since we got him at 8wks old. The vets not worried as long as it doesn’t cause him any discomfort.
    Honey’s a beautiful girl and i wish u all the best.

  9. Oh Honey, we are all sending you good thoughts for your surgery next week. As Emma said, it’s better you found the growth now than when on your boat.

    • Believe me, I’m very happy this turned up before we went aboard.

      Cruisers who are crossing oceans take wilderness medicine training. And they take tools to do suturing and other treatments at sea.

      That won’t be us for a long time. But I don’t even want to think of having to be a dog doctor at sea. I’m too squeamish.

  10. Things like this are always upsetting — and in your case the timing couldn’t be worse (except if you were already on sea). Hoping it proves to be benign and can get cleared up quickly and it’s only a small glitch before your most excellent adventure.

    • Well it certain gives us an incentive to figure out how to move Honey safely on and off the boat. Because the vet says we’ve got to keep her totally dry for 14 days after the surgery. :)

  11. Ellen Haith says:

    Ouch! Definitely NOT the best thing to happen at any time, more stressful because of the spot you’re in – literally! Our Annie sports a lump on her left flank that’s been there forever without change. I hope Honey’s lump is similarly a ‘nothing’. Looking forward to a ‘Whew! Nothing serious!’ post.

    • I’ve never known there were so many bumpy dogs out there. I’m really glad to hear it.

      Thanks for the encouragement, Ellie.

  12. Ugh – nothing worse than weird things growing on your dogs. We did have a weird growth on Tino. It was on his leg and at first looked like just a mole, but then it kept getting bigger and bigger. The vet said don’t worry about it, but it kept growing and then it burst and started oozing…the vet still said don’t worry about it. But Tino did, he licked it and licked it and chewed the bandage off and it was just open and festering all the time and about the size of a quarter. I found a different vet who removed it…and it healed up fine and that’s the end. I hope your story turns out the same.

    • Talk about a worst case scenario for something that should have been minor.

      Perhaps removal is always the best option when you’re dealing with someone who can’t stop fidgeting.

  13. Pamela, I hope it all works out OK. Timing is everything n life, isn’t it.

  14. Sam and I are sending positive healing thoughts and puppy kisses. <3

  15. I sure hope it turns out to be nothing! Sending good thoughts your way!

  16. So sorry for your worries, and boy what lousy timing! You must feel beyond frustrated. Sending positive thoughts and healing wishes for Honey, and some hugs for you!

  17. Jan Van Patten says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Remember to breathe.

  18. So sorry to be reading this! Poor Honey, poor you. Bear has two growths currently, at age 13, that are luckily both non-cancerous. We are always on the lookout for more however :(

  19. These things always happen at times like this, don’t they? Of course, there is never a good time to have this worry. Our beagle Kobi had numerous bumps and lumps and warts, some we had removed, some we didn’t. But they were always benign.
    We will be thinking of Honey and hoping for the very best….it seems like there is way too much of this going on lately, it is so tough to see our friends having to go through these tough times with their dogs.

  20. Ugh, I’m so sorry to see this. Like you said, so many friends right now with grim news on the puppy front. But we’ve already 3 and everyone knows that bad news comes in 3’s so we’re done. That means it will of course be good news next week for Honey.

    Our beagle used to get the occasional fatty tumor. The hubs has also had weird things grow on him that turned out to be nuthin’. I mean… in case you wanted to also know about weird things growing on men.

    We are doing the B9 dance and sending our best pawsitive thoughts your way!

    • Yeah, my hub has had some weird things growing on him too–some benign, some not. But none were the size of golf balls. Size does matter. :)

      thanks for the well wishes.

  21. Silver is our nasty bump grower. She’s had large bumps that we’ve had removed that turned out to be nothing, but I have to also have to keep a watch on her as she gets skin tags as well.

    So sorry to hear about Honey’s bump. Hope surgery goes well. Scary isn’t it? Even if it is “minor, every day” surgery.

    24 Paws crossed for you all.

    • Hopefully Honey isn’t starting a trend. But it’s encouraging to know that Silver is bumpy too with no major problems.

      Thanks for the well wishes. Missing you around blogville and thinking of you and the paws often.

  22. Sending prayers and wags your way! We hope it’s nothing.

  23. It sure is worrisome having dogs, isn’t it? I’m hoping it’s nothing serious and the surgery will be easy and she will recover quickly. I won’t tell you not to worry, because being a worrier myself, I know it’s a moot point. Just know we are all here with you, and we are all sending lots and lots of positive and healing energy.

  24. Please remember this – there’s always a whole lot of reasons why things happen, but we only seem to fixate on the worst. Let’s not think about the “C” word, and focus on something really easy to cure! Doodle prayers for Honey – please keep us informed.

  25. Dewi had a pink bump the size of a fresh pencil eraser grow out of his nostril a few years ago (I shopped it out of pics and never told anyone). He went to the vet, who (I can’t remember if she aspirated, I was so nervous) took a picture and advised us to wait a few days (because her feeling was that it was a wart) and call back if it got bigger. It never got bigger, and in fact, was a wart, because it completely disappeared on its own. That is my comfort story for you.

    I hope Honey just has a wart (or something similar). So sorry for the worry.

    • OMD, what was Dewi thinking growing a wart? Didn’t he know how much he’d worry you? And all the extra photoshopping you had to do on a blog star!

      Some dogs are so inconsiderate. :)

      Thanks for the encouragement.

  26. Ugh, I know exactly what you’re going through! It’s hard not to worry. Haley has had several bumps removed already, a lipoma, a sebaceous cyst and a few cancerous bumps a few years back that were local and removed completely without additional worries. There are so many types of bumps and luckily most turn out to be benign.

    Getting it checked out early is so important and it sounds like Honey is in good hands. I’m sending you lots of good thoughts and calming vibes while you’re waiting.

  27. Oh no! She’s in my thoughts. Glad you caught it!

  28. You know she is in my thoughts and prayers.

  29. Margaret T. says:

    Sending you and Honey best thoughts. I hope that it turns out to be something easily fixed, but we can never count on that, especially with our goldens. I hope I’ll see a follow-up that says she is recovering and will be 100% in no time.

    • Yeah, cancer is quite a scourge for goldens. Luckily Honey’s breeder has shared with us that Honey’s heritage is of long-lived dogs. So I’m staying hopeful it’s just a nuisance and not a problem.

  30. Fingers and toes crossed that the bump is harmless and Honey recovers fully from its removal.
    Toby had an ugly bump on his lip last month. The vet identified it immediately as – I think – a histocytoma? She said it would get really gross looking and then vanish, and happily she was right.
    (((hugs))))to you and Honey and hope that all is well.

    • That’s a new word for me. But I have to admit I like the idea of problems that disappear on their own. Lucky Toby.

      thanks for the encouraging story. They really do help.

  31. I just saw this…sending prayers and healing balls of light your way!

  32. Well, Honey’s timing could have been worse, at least you’re not in the middle of an ocean! Here’s hoping it’s a whole lot of worry over nothing. I don’t have any stories about nasty things that ended up not being nasty, sorry. Roll on Thursday. One thing I wouldn’t worry about is the healing. When Beryl partially degloved the top of her foot there was no skin to staple together. I had to keep it bandaged for a few weeks and now she sports quite an ugly black scar but it healed well. Hopefully Honey will too. Thinking about you all and hoping for the best possible outcome.

    • The vet is worried about the same thing with Honey–there’s no extra skin there to help with healing.

      I guess if you could keep a greyhound healing I should have it easy with Honey. :)

      thanks for the encouragement.

  33. Will they be able to do a skin graft to help with the healing?

    Yikes. That’s pretty scary. Praying it turns out well for her. I remember when B had that little cyst in between her toes last year. Turned out to just be a dry piece of grass that got caught in there. Honey’s situation definitely sounds more serious, but hang in there. Whatever the outcome, I know you’ll take great care of her.

  34. Sorry to hear that Honey’s got a bump! Hope that you have some answers (preferably happy ones) soon. Barley and Soth always wait until there’s some big life event, other large bill, or a day the vet isn’t open to have something unusual show up. We’ll be sending good thoughts your way!