Back to the vet's. This time, after a full examination, the doctor seemed suspicious that it might be something more than a sore. She recommended doing a biopsy to see if, perhaps, it was an ulcerated growth. My gut (and, again, wishful thinking) told me it was merely a sore and I felt reluctant to approve the costly biopsy. But, the wound was not getting any better. We had to do something.
A week later, the call came. I was fully prepared to hear that the results of the biopsy were negative and that I had just wasted $500 on a meaningless test. "It is malignant," I was told. The doctor then proceeded to explain some options. I interrupted: "Wait ... what? What did you say about the results?" I was so unprepared that I did not hear it correctly.
Festus has a form of cancer that is very rare. Not much is known about it or how to treat it. For other dogs, amputation is an option, but, for Festus, this is not feasible. The doctor gave three other suggestions: (1) consult an oncologist, (2) leave it untreated and make him as comfortable as possible, and (3) consider euthanizing him if his quality of life is suffering.