Lucy is 9 year old boxer, who over the last few years has had more than her fair share of problems. She has spent many hours in our company here at the surgery and she has won a place in everyone’s heart with her happiness and good nature. Here is Lucy’s story……….
Lucy has been a patient at the surgery for many years. In September 2008 her owners notice a few small lumps on her body. During a consultation with the veterinary surgeon small fine needle aspirates were taken of these lumps and sent away to the laboratory for analysis. Unfortunately the results came back suggesting the masses may be Mast Cell Tumours. Shortly after, Lucy was admitted for surgery, anaesthetised and 5 masses were removed from various sites on her body. These were sent to the laboratory for analysis and 3 of the masses were confirmed as Mast Cell Tumours.
A Mast Cell Tumour is a tumour which can develop in the skin or in internal organs. It can also, in some cases, spread to other parts of the body.
Lucy recovered well from this surgery and all the wounds healed. Lucy returned to the surgery at the beginning of 2009, this time with an eye problem. She required some intensive treatment for her eye including referral to an eye specialist. She had to be hospitalised to have a general anaesthetic and chemically debride (scrape) the ulcer on her eyeball. After a couple of months treatment the eye problem resolved and Lucy was signed off.
In June 2009 Lucy presented with another mass developing on her right hind. A fine needle biopsy again suggested this mass may be a Mast Cell Tumour. Further surgery followed to remove the mass and it was sent for analysis, which confirmed a mast cell tumour.
Lucy managed to stay lump free until October 2010 when her owner noticed a small mass on her left ear lobe, and a few other small skin masses. Further fine needle aspirates revealed the potential of Mast Cell Tumours.
Poor old Lucy had further surgery to remove 4 skin lumps and amputate her left ear lobe. During her recovery she may have looked different and a bit strange to start with, but she was still the same old Lucy, her little stumpy tail constantly wagging, pleased to see you and receive a bit of fuss.
Unfortunately Lucy didn’t manage to stay away from the surgery for long before the next problem arose. At the beginning of January 2011 the owners noticed her right hind leg was swollen beneath the knee. On examination the vet noticed her lymph node on this leg was markedly swollen. More fine needle aspirates were taken and the laboratory suggested this may be a spread of the Mast Cell Tumours.
Lucy’s owners obviously wanted to do everything they could for their pet and it was decided to refer Lucy to a specialist veterinary centre. Lucy was taken to the referral centre in Somerset and under went lots of blood tests, x-rays, scans and biopsies. Unfortunately a diagnosis was “Mast Cell Tumour with spread to regional lymph nodes.”
The referral centre constructed a chemotherapy plan for Lucy and she began this immediately. She now has daily medication at home that her owners administer. She will need to return to us for blood testing to monitor her progress during the chemotherapy treatment. She will also need to return to Somerset for further chemotherapy drugs and check ups.
Lucy has just been to us for her first blood test since starting chemotherapy. She has to wear a winter coat at the moment as she has had a lot of her coat shaved off for scanning and biopsies. Her missing ear causes her no problems and it actually looks like it is folded back on her head.
Amazingly Lucy still doesn’t mind coming here, today her little tail was wagging and she was eager for everyone to give her a cuddle………what a fantastically brave and good natured dog.
Luckily for Lucy, her owners have pet insurance for her. All the treatment so far has been paid for by the insurance company. At least that was one less thing for them to be worrying about.