Do normal people have this many problems?

We took the kittens to the vet today for their 10 week boosters of their FIV/FLV vaccinations, and we found out that two of them have large lumps on their back legs, at the site of their first injections. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything serious, but we’ll have to keep an eye on the lumps and make sure they go away or they’ll need to be aspirated. The lumps are so prominent that I can’t believe I didn’t notice either of them myself—it sort of makes me feel like a negligent parent.

I try to “massage” the kittens regularly, just so they’ll be used to being touched all over (especially their feet), but I guess I’ve been passing over their back legs. We’ve got to keep an eye on the back leg lumps, and make sure no new lumps come up at their new injection sites. The good news was that the kittens didn’t have that “malaise” which came over them after their first set of injections, so it was pretty much a normal evening for them.

While at the vet’s office and asking one of the techs a question about Rimadyl, I found out that Eli is supposed to have blood work done next week to check her liver function (a standard procedure for dogs starting Rimadyl, but one which no one told us about). So, we made an appointment for her to go in on Monday for that.

Later in the evening, I was at my desk and I could hear one of the dogs downstairs doing some repetitive licking. Eli’s stopped doing that since she started taking Rimadyl, so I knew it had to be Dante, but assumed he was licking an elbow abrasion (his elbows get scratched up quite frequently from lying in the yard, and I tend to just treat them with Bag Balm).

When I went downstairs to check it out, I could immediately see that Dante had been licking one of his front feet, as it was all wet and soggy-looking, blech. I hoped it was just a sore paw pad (again, I drag out the Bag Balm), but in-between two of his toes, on the top of his foot, was a nasty looking red lump. Crap. It looks just like the histiocytoma we had removed from his ear last year (which was thankfully benign).

I washed his foot up with some soap and he was quite good about it, and then for lack of something better to put on it, I thought I’d try some hydrocortisone ointment. I figured it could possibly be an insect bite of some sort, and knew the hydrocortisone would be helpful for that. I checked on it again a couple of hours later and it didn’t look as if he’d bothered with it at all since I’d cleaned it up, and the lump had really gone down in size and wasn’t red and oozing like it had been previously.

I hope that’s a good sign, but if it’s still there in the morning he’s going to have to go to the vet, too. He’s a bit older now (he’ll be 6 in July), and he’s a large dog, so any suspicious lumps are cause for concern. The sooner we catch a problem, the less-expensive it will be to fix (I hope).

I feel I’m being punished by the gods of the retail pet industry for putting off buying a pet ramp to assist the big dogs in getting in the car. After Eli’s last trip in the car I knew we needed one, but I’ve dawdled about ordering it. It looks like I’ll have one, possibly two trips to the vet over the next few days to remind me of why getting one is so important.