Patch's owners quick to pick up signs of illness

Patch is a very well cared for 12 year old Kelpie Cross dog and a regular visitor to our hospital. Patch’s owners brought him into see us recently because he had vomited once and he had a decreased appetite. Also they thought his abdomen looked big.

Dr Clare examined him and found that his abdominal organs did feel enlarged. Patch came back the following day for an x-ray of his abdomen. The x-rays showed that he had a large mass the size of a football in his abdomen, which was quite alarming! We expected the worse: that Patch had a malignant tumour in his abdomen.

He was admitted for surgery the following day and given a guarded prognosis. When Dr Karen opened his abdomen, she found that the mass was on his spleen, which was able to be removed. Dr Karen examined the other abdominal organs and fortunately there was no evidence of other abnormalities or lumps anywhere else. Sections of the lump were sent to the pathology lab for analysis. The results of this showed that the mass was in fact benign and therefore, further disease was not expected. This was the best possible result for Patch and his owners were hugely relieved.

Patch recovered uneventfully from his surgery despite losing a good 2kg in bodyweight. He is now back to his old self with plenty of energy.

Take Home Message

The main reason why Patch survived this serious condition was that we were able to take action as soon as possible. If the surgery had been delayed, the risk of the tumour rupturing and causing severe blood loss would have increased. Luckily, Patch’s owners acted promptly and took him to the vet at the first sign of him being unwell. There are many conditions that require treatment or surgery as soon as possible. Therefore, it is better to act quickly and take your pet to the vet at the first sign of him being unwell. This will increase the chances of a good outcome.

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