9.25.2006

a little more about Deacon

I am really proud of the research I did about Deacon's condition. Most of what I know about the disease is not from our vet (who is good, but too busy to explain the intricacies of pet illnesses). Web research has a bad reputation, and there is a lot of misinformation on the superhighway. I'm careful about what I read. In addition to looking for obvious clues - design, author, publisher, etc. - I quickly picked up the medical terminology that results in much more sophisticated information. I went from searching "swollen glands dog" to "canine multicentric lymphoma." That isn't special, in and of itself, but this is: on account of my web research, I knew that it is possible to make a lymphoma diagnosis through aspiration instead of biopsy. When the vet recommended the surgery that would have meant heavy anesthetic, an overnight stay at the pet hospital, and stitches for twelve days, I surprised him by requesting a fine needle aspiration. He didn't think it would be conclusive, but I insisted. The test was quick, almost painless, and conclusive. Even though the results were terrible, I saved our pooch from the more invasive procedure.

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