Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Lump: Part 2

As promised, the vet came for another visit yesterday. He started out by palpating her thyroid again and doing a physical exam; the thyroid hasn't changed in size that he could detect, her temp is normal, heart rate was slightly elevated (she has been TERRIFIED of him ever since he gave her the stangles vaccine earlier this year), her weight and muscling is good, appetite hasn't changed.

The other vet that he's consulted with recommended doing an ultrasound first to see if the mass was solid or fluid filled.

equine thyroid mass ultrasound
A very drunken Maggie getting her right thyroid ultrasounded

equine thyroid mass ultrasound image
Image on the screen of the abnormal thyroid lobe

He imaged the other lobe of the thyroid too for comparison. The questionable lobe is certainly oddly shaped, but only a little bit bigger than the normal one. 

equine thyroid mass ultrasound normal versus abnormal
Comparison of the abnormal versus normal thyroid lobes, outlined for your viewing convenience (actually so that theor size could be measured)

Then he took a needle and syringe and used it to try and aspirate (just pulling back on the syringe to suck up some cells) the mass. He thinks he got some cells - I guess sometimes you just can't get cells out if it's a solid mass - but we will have to wait for the results to actually know. Looking at cells under a microscope would be able to tell us if they are cancerous or not. He also drew some more blood to run the same tests again, just to be sure the results from the first one wasn't a lab error. So it's another 1.5 - 2 week wait for the results from both these tests... If we didn't get cells from the mass I don't know what the next step would be :-/ so hopefully we've got some!

Until then I get to keep working her as normal. I'm giving her the next couple days off anyway though, mostly just due to being busy, but I also imagine that one would feel a little sore having one's thyroid poked with a needle...


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