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Old 09-15-2014, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Large growth discovered under right shoulder.

Today (Monday, 3:30 pm) I discovered a large lump under Sophie's right shoulder while giving her a full bath (soap and everything, which she gets every six weeks).

The lump is round; almost a perfect ball; smaller than a golf ball, but not by much.
Firm, but yielding to the touch; not hard or 'rock-like'. I don't know what I am feeling in the firmness? Cell growth under the skin? Fluid filled and the firmness due to swelling?

It does not appear to be causing Sophie any pain at this time - including when I touch the lump or lightly press on it. I did not try to find out at what point of manipulation she might feel pain. I only handled the lump enough to get an initial judgment regarding size and depth. It is almost perfectly round and also ball-like; that is, it 'feels' like it has a depth in proportion to its roundness. In other words, this is a large lump, IMO.

This lump was NOT visible, palpable, or in any way noticeable to me on late Saturday afternoon (just two days ago). She got a standard mini-bath on Saturday (three a week, water and brushing only) and it just happened to be that that day's 'spa treatment' was belly rubs, chin rubs, and ear rubs. If it was there in any substantive way, I would have seen and/or felt it. I don't video all of her mini-baths, but just happened to decide to video that one because I was working the getting her used to handling her jaw and lips a bit more during bath-time.

Just how fast do different kinds of lumps develop/ What are likeliest causes? I understand that a condition can be hiding out of sight and then - bam! But two days ago this was not visible and today it is huge.

She just passed a full vet exam just a couple of weeks ago; 26 August. CBC plus additional blood test markers all good. UA came back good. She was, however, diagnosed with gingival hypertrophy (possibly epulides); excessive growth of gum tissue.

Surgery to remove the excess growth and test the removed cells is planned to happen about three weeks from now. The vet feels fairly confident that the issue will turn out to be non-cancerous excess cell growth and that everything will be fine. I've withheld getting too excited about that because I have more reason to fear the worst than she does. She handles exotics but is not a hedgehog specialist.

This situation changes everything of course. I am, of course, concerned that it is an immediate emergency and that there is high chance that Sophie's time is short. I am sending correspondence to Sophie's vet tonight and expect that an appointment will be prioritized, but am looking get some opinions, likelihoods, and odds before I get there. The glass is looking half empty and leaky right now. I'm open to positive outlooks, but need honest opinions.

Videos below:


lump-discovery-14-09-15
(Monday - Full bath today, with Aveeno body wash and everything. Full baths are given every six weeks. Mini-baths three days a week (no soap).
(16:33 - First link picks up at 9:50, when I notice that there is problem with Sophie.)
http://youtu.be/0wz1W_Lh6Tg?t=9m50s
http://youtu.be/0wz1W_Lh6Tg


lump-discovery-c-14-09-15
(5:06)
http://youtu.be/4VpMswcYN7U


belly-and-chin-rub-14-09-13
(Saturday mini-bath with belly rubs, chin rubs, and ear rubs. No indication of a problem was seen or felt.)
(10:12)
http://youtu.be/kPWib-rECj4


.


I discussed her recent vet visit here:

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...xperience.html


I discussed her upcoming surgery here:

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...-epulides.html


.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My guess is it's a lymph node. My Tessie had a lump in the exact same location and hers was a lymph node. When she was gassed to check it out it was also discovered she had a huge oral tumour under her tongue. We did not wake her back up nor proceed any further diagnosing of the lymph node.

Tessie's seemed to appear out of the blue. Once I discovered it, it was very obvious and I'm sure had it been there for more than a day or two either my daughter or I would have seen or felt it.

It may be Sohpie's lymph node is just enlarged because of what is going on in her mouth. Hopefully that's all that is happening but this certainly is tipping the glass towards empty.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't add anything constructive to this alarming turn of events, except to say that I share in your sense of dread in what this may mean, and hope it turns out to be nothing serious. Sending lots of positive energy to you and Sophie.
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm with Kat. You and Sophie are in my thoughts. Your postings have been so very informative and I appreciate you sharing your experience.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Tumors can seem to appear out of no where. I have had hedgehogs that we were closely monitoring for a tumor regrowth. Monitoring in the sense that every time they were in my hands I was feeling around for a tumor. I’ve seen them quite literally appear between morning and evening check and go from seemingly nothing there to a tumor the size that you are showing in those videos.

You want honesty, well while we will all hope that it’s just an infected lymph node caused by the other problem she is having, I tend to assume it’s a tumor/cancer and then am pleasantly surprised/relieved when it isn’t. I’d be back to the vet, have an FNA done initially to determine if the mass is solid or not and I’d opt to send it away for pathology if it wasn’t clearly an angry lymph node or infection. I’d also discuss the location and possibility of removal. I’d also ask if using prednisone would be advisable. I have had lots of tumors removed from hedgehogs and the couple we have had removed from the neck and face were the most complicated as lots of nerves run through those areas, nerves that control facial motor functions like blinking.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. I want to go in as knowledgeable as possible so that I can be better prepared for what to expect and what decisions might be best made 'on the spot'.

Her regular doctor won't be there, but her surgical doctor (for the excess gum growth issue) will be seeing her. Her specialty is oncology. I've never met her but know that she is fully informed on Sophie's situation. 'Officially', she is Sophie's vet because she is also their exotic specialist. Her regular doctor has always been in charge (or at least the public face of it) because email correspondence has been between us, then presumably shared as needed.

We have an appointment for tomorrow. I'll get another good look at her this afternoon.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I hope every thing is ok and we will be keeping Sophie in our thoughts
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Video of Sophie's lump today, Tuesday, 24 hours after discovery on Monday afternoon. The lump was not visible or palpable on Saturday afternoon.

I don't think that the lump is much larger, but it must be some amount larger, because it is more obviously visible. I think this is the best quality video yet at showing and describing the lump, but it was clearly more visible today than yesterday, whether video quality is improved or not.

The lump neither looks nor feels larger to me, but is must be because it somehow seems clearly more prominent. I would say that the mass beneath the lump is more 'defined'; still softish, but I'm pretty sure that it is firmer.

No indication of pain from Sophie so far. We'll see the vet tomorrow and I'll be sending them this video tonight, though I don't know how useful it will be as far as adding advance information to the vet.

lump-discovery-d-14-09-16
(8:40)
http://youtu.be/-qG0IFtzBOA

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Old 09-16-2014, 07:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What a sweet hedgie! I'll be thinking of you and Sophie.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Once we know the lump is there, it becomes very obvious and just about impossible to tell if it is getting larger. That's why photos are so important.

From your videos, I would say if it's larger, it's not much larger. When she is standing, does it hang down? Tessie's hung.
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Last edited by Nancy; 09-17-2014 at 08:14 PM.
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