Bundy is an 11 year old Rottweiler cross who is much loved by his family. Bundy recently developed a skin problem and his owner brought him in to Vetwest Carine for a check over. Dr Greg Carson found that Bundy had a bacterial skin infection and gave him antibiotics to treat it.
Even though Bundy was only brought in for a skin condition, Dr Carson took the opportunity to give Bundy a full physical examination to ensure that there were no other problems. During his examination a lump was felt inside Bundy's abdomen. This lump was soft and mobile and thought to be attached to the spleen.
The spleen is a large belt-shaped organ inside the belly. Its role is in the filtering and removal of old red blood cells, amongst other functions. Older dogs are prone to developing lumps in the spleen. These can be benign, such as haematomas (blood clots) or malignant (cancerous). The cancerous type can sometimes spread to other parts of the body.
Regardless of whether the lump is cancerous or not, it will continue to grow and can eventually burst or rupture. Because the spleen is an organ with a very rich blood supply, internal bleeding frequently occurs following rupture which if not picked up early, can be rapidly fatal. The spleen is an organ that is not essential to life, as its function can be taken over by the liver. For this reason we generally recommend removal of the spleen, along with the suspected mass, in these situations. With this information, Buddy's owners wanted the best chance to avoid these complications and chose surgery.
Dr Jon Spanoghe performed Bundy's surgery and the spleen was removed without complications. Although a major surgery, Bundy is a very brave dog and he bounced back within a few days. His family is thrilled with his recovery and haven't looked back. They've commented that he's back to his lively, friendly self!
Bundy's story is a good example of the importance of regular health checks for our pets. Pets age a lot quicker than humans and problems can develop quickly, sometimes without much warning. When problems are dealt with early the outcome can often be better with a faster recovery.
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- Lumps and bumps on your pet's skin