Last week, I had noticed a lump on Bella’s left cheek. I didn’t think much of it as I thought it might have been a fat deposit of some sort. But after talking to Kelly about it, she suggested that I get her in to see a vet especially if it was some sort of cyst or abscess. We did not want to take the chance of it breaking open and causing scarring on her face.

I had called my veterinarian but they could not see her until this Wednesday. I made the appointment anyway to have it looked at as well as to get Bella chipped. I let Kelly know, but she said that we needed to have Bella seen right away. Kelly suggested going to her vet or to Columbia Veterinary Center. Unfortunately, Kelly’s vet was closed for the holidays, so I called Columbia Veterinary. Luckily they were able to see Bella that very same day.

Dr. Sam Karben took a look at her and was puzzled by the lump and said it could be one of two things. He said it could be a cyst or a swollen lymph node. He said we could take a sample from the lump or have it removed. Because of her age and the location of the lump, Dr. Karben did not think it was a fatty deposit. He also could not figure out why her lymph node would be swollen when there were no other indications (not eating, loose stools, etc.) that there was any type of infection that Bella was fighting. Also, he said to have a swollen lymph node in that location was very rare.

Needless to day, I was worried that it could be a tumor of some sort. Well, I opted to have a sample of the tissue taken and tested. From there, we could determine what was going on and determine the treatment (if any).

Since the location of the lump was on the face and the vet did not want to take the chance of Bella moving her head while he was taking a sample, he decided that sedating her for a bit would be best.

Poor Bella! You should have seen her after she was waking up from the medication! She looked stoned and drunk! She would stand there and pretty soon all four of her legs would start spreading apart as if she was about to do the Chinese splits!! She was pretty groggy for the rest of the night, but was back to her old self the next morning!

Since it was a holiday weekend (we took Bella into the vets on Friday), the tests results were not due to come until sometime this week. I wasn’t expecting to get results until later this week. However, when I got home from dropping Bruce off at work this morning, there was a message on the machine from Dr. Karben notifying me of the test results. Per the results, the lump were the cells of a lymph node. He stated that she must of bitten or eaten something that could have caused her system to fight off the foreign object. (we think it was a hornet sting since she tried to eat one about a week ago!) He says that the lump will subside over time and that there shouldn’t be anything we need to worry about.

I called him back and left him a message (he was in surgery). I honestly did not expect to get a return call from him, but to my surprise, he called me back within the 1/2 hour. We discussed the results and he confirmed that Bella did not need further treatment. But if the lump did not go away, then we would need to have her seen again.

Between then and now, the lump has gone down considerably (although not 100% gone). It started out about the size of a standard marble and is now the size of a pea. I think she will be just fine!

As far as Columbia Veterinary Center and Dr. Karben, I couldn’t have asked for better service! Dr. Karben was able to see Bella quickly, he had wonderful bedside manners, he was thorough and he explained everything to me as well as my options. The fact that Dr. Karben got the results back to me so quickly and the fact that he called me back the same day is in itself exemplary! You do not see this kind of service very often!

Because of this, I would use Dr. Karben as my secondary/back-up vet (I have my own vet at this time) and would recommend him to anyone that has a pet and is in need of a good veterinary clinic.

So, thank you Columbia Veterinary Center and to Dr. Sam Karben for taking care of Bella and making sure she was healthy and happy!

I know I am! 🙂