A stricken dog given only a two per cent chance of surviving a rare tumour has defied the odds to make an astonishing recovery
Nine-year-old Boxer-cross Daisy is now enjoying a second lease of life after successful surgery here at Cave.
Daisy had been drinking excessively and later had a 20-second seizure, after which she was referred for specialist care and her problem was identified as an adrenal mass.
Cave’s head of surgery Malcolm Jack, a specialist in small animal surgery, carried out the operation and says the hospital’s multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment was the key factor in Daisy’s good outcome.
Malcolm said: “Daisy was cared for by five different disciplines at the hospital – medicine, imaging, anaesthesia, surgery and nursing.
“She had complete blood count and biochemistry (bloodwork), urinalysis, thoracic radiographs and an abdominal ultrasound which identified an adrenal mass.
“Further blood tests were performed to try and find out the type of mass including an ACTH stimulation test, a low dose dexamethasone suppression test and the measurement of plasma metanephrines.
“We then carried out a CT scan to better assess the extent of the mass and to investigate if it was invading the caudal vena cava, the large venous vessel in the abdomen which takes blood to the heart.
“Finally, I operated to remove the adrenal tumour. It is a challenging surgery typically performed at referral practices and, in this case, it required the mass being carefully dissected off a long length of the caudal vena cava.
“Surgery proved successful and Daisy recovered well under the supervision of our nursing team and was soon allowed home.”
Owner Sally Harper, from Braunton, Devon, said: “Our local vets said they could do the surgery but were very honest about the odds for success.
“They said Daisy’s chances of survival would be just two per cent whereas if she went back to Cave her chances would be approximately 80 per cent because of their top-quality medical equipment, specialist surgeons and anaesthesia team.
“I must admit there were plenty of tears when we left her at Cave for the operation as we knew it was a rare condition and it would be very difficult surgery.
“It was amazing when we got the news that Daisy had come through the operation and all the mass had been successfully removed.”