Two years ago, for roughly the 15,000th time, I patted our dog Newman on the head. That time my fingers found an unexpected depression half the size of a ping-pong ball above and behind his right eye.
Thinking he had somehow bashed in his skull, my wife Jennifer and I rushed Newman to a nearby veterinarian, who quickly set us straight. His skull was fine. Rather, the bulky muscles of Newman’s forehead and jaw had withered, revealing the bony contours beneath.
The most likely cause was a brain tumor. With that suggestion, we plunged into a two-year lesson in the treatment of canine cancer.
The National Canine Cancer Foundation estimates that one out of every three dogs gets cancer, in part, because modern pets’ longer life spans allow more time for malignancies to develop.
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