Whatever else I planned to do today was derailed by an emergency vet visit, as I came downstairs this morning and found a dog with only three working feet, and one (apparently) incredibly painful extremity that he was not willing to let touch the floor.
The giant ridiculous dog had a traumatic childhood and had injury-related arthritis in one shoulder, so I thought at first that Something Terrible Had Happened to his old injury, but a little observations showed it was the paw--and after looking three times, I managed to find a hot, tender mass deep inside the paw, near his third digit. So off to the awesome and dedicated Bolton Vets we went, where that nice Dr. Badeau saw us and aspirated a core sample out of the damned thing (The GRD is very nervous about vet visits, and was lightly sedated for this procedure, which, as you can imagine given the swelling and tenderness, must have been excruciatingly painful anyway.)
Now we are home, with a tentative diagnosis (until the cytology comes back hopefully negative) of a follicular cyst. So my poor old man is getting NSAIDS and Cipro and is sleeping off his sedation, and will be even more scared of vets next time.
Poor dog. :-( Thank Bride and St. Francis (or the hearth gods of your choice) for good vets.