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Meet Mason, a 10-year-old Staffordshire Terrier. Mason came in for surgery to have his teeth cleaned and some skin lumps removed but then a bigger problem was discovered when we felt a very large mass in his abdomen. After an abdominal ultrasound was performed we were very suspicious that the large mass was a tumour attached to his spleen. After a discussion with Mason’s mum about what we had found and the possibilities about what it could be, it was decided to go ahead with surgery to remove the tumour and spleen and the original lumps he presented with.

Mason’s surgery was performed by the wonderful Dr. Anne Terrill. The tumour adhered to the mesentery which is the membrane that attaches the intestine to the abdominal wall. Also, there was a very good blood supply to the tumour so many blood vessels had to be tied off. Mason coped with the surgery like an absolute champion!!!! He was placed on a morphine drip overnight to keep him comfortable and rested. By the next day, he was up on his feet and eating very well so removed from his drip. After spending one more night with us Mason went home to be absolutely pampered by his mum.

A part of the tumour was sent to the laboratory to find out exactly what type of tumour it was. The laboratory report came back saying they were cautiously optimistic that the tumour had not spread elsewhere and with removing it entirely Mason would live out the rest of his life being the happy staffie he is. Unfortunately, not all dogs with a splenic tumour have the same outcome as Mason.

Some present to the clinic collapsed because the tumour has burst open and they are bleeding out internally. This is a life-threatening situation. Our only option to try and save them is by giving them a blood transfusion to try and stabilize them enough to get them through emergency surgery to remove the tumour. Also depending on the type of tumour, survival times can be varied. If an aggressive tumour is present, we often only get a survival time of 6 weeks, with less than 10% surviving to a year. We are so so thankful that Mason’s lab results were the absolute best case scenario for the situation he was in, and he will carry on having an amazing life under the watchful eye of his loving mum and dad.

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