& Referral Service
Highlands Road Shirley Solihull
West Midlands B90 4NH
Telephone: 0121 712 7070www.willows.uk.net
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Billy before surgery - the arrow
indicates the benign fatty lump
Billy showing his shaved back
and scar recovering at home
If you have a senior dog, you
may be interested in reading
our series of information
Looking after your
- there are lots of useful
tips and information relating
to the different life stages:www.willows.uk.net/pets
As the weather starts to warm
up it becomes a popular time
for adder bites! The snakes are
present all over the UK, with
the South-East of England
being a particular hot spot.
The adder is the only venomous
snake native to the UK. The adder
has a black-brown zig-zag pattern
and a V or X shaped marking on the
head. They can be confused with the
non-venomous grass snake. One
distinguishing feature is that adders
have a ‘slit like’ pupil whereas grass
snakes have a round shaped pupil
(you will have come pretty close to
see this, of course!).
Adders are actually very timid
and non-aggressive, usually only
biting when they are provoked, and
preferring to stay hidden. For this
reason bites are most common on
the face or limbs.
If you suspect your pet has been
bitten by an adder, you should phone
your vet and arrange to take it to
them immediately. In some cases a
drip or antivenommay be required,
depending on the severity of the bite.
Avoid bites by keeping dogs on
leads during the warmer months in
Double trouble for Billy!
Billy was brought to seeWill, one of the primary care clinicians,
as his owners were concerned that he had a large mass behind
his left shoulder which had been slowly getting worse.
This had already been previously diagnosed
as a benign fatty lump known as a lipoma.
Normally these fatty lumps don’t need to be
removed, however due to the location of the
lump, it was felt that removing it gave Billy
a good chance of feeling more comfortable
and would allow him to move more freely.
Will suspected the lump was underneath a
large muscle and as it was a very large mass,
Billy had a CT scan performed to evaluate
whether it could be removed and what would
be the best approach.
Completely by chance the CT scan also
picked up a mass on his spleen which was not
palpable on examination of Billy’s abdomen.
Without evidence that it had bled, there was
a 50:50 chance that it would be benign or
malignant. Sampling techniques can often
be unrewarding when dealing with the spleen
and considering most dogs can cope very well
without a spleen, it was decided that it should
be removed and sent to the lab for analysis.
Billy had both surgeries performed, the first
via his abdomen to remove the spleen and
then he had the large fatty lump removed via
a separate incision. He was kept in overnight
for monitoring and to ensure he had enough
analgesia and subsequently has made a great
recovery. After the laboratory had evaluated
the mass on his spleen, it was confirmed
that it was benign and that surgery should
be curative.This was great news for everyone
– especially Billy, who despite his old age, is
back to feeling more lively these days.
Billy is a great example of how well an old
dog can cope with quite considerable surgical
procedures despite his age and come through
to make a full recovery.