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Double trouble for Billy!

24 August 2016

Billy was brought to see Will, 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 before surgery - the arrow indicates the benign fatty lump

Billy before surgery - the arrow indicates the benign fatty lump


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.

If you have a senior dog, you may be interested in reading our series of information sheets on Looking after your Dog - there are lots of useful tips and information relating to the different life stages: www.willows.uk.net/pets


Billy showing his shaved back and scar recovering at home

Billy showing his shaved back and scar recovering at home