Additionally, she also had unexplained weight loss. The
likely diagnoses in these situations are not usually very
good. However it was agreed with her owners that since "Smudge"
was so alert that assuming her blood tests were normal we
would perform an exploratory procedure to establish the
nature of this mass.
Fortunately, "Smudge's" blood results demonstrated
that despite her age everything was in working order.
At the time of surgery I was astonished to find that the
lump I had been palpating was in fact a liver tumour. This
tumour was suitable for surgery and so a large part of "Smudge's"
liver was removed together with the offending mass.
It has been shown in humans that approximately 7/8 of the
liver can be removed and the liver organ will completely
regenerate to it's original size. A fact which prompted
a friend to comment "If God hadn't intended us to drink
alcohol he wouldn't have given us such a remarkable liver!"
Subsequent biopsy results of the tumour demonstrated that
this was a liver cell adenoma a rare but benign growth.
We had achieved healthy margins at the time of surgery and
so hopefully have achieved a cure.
Interestingly, this kind of tumour became more prevalent
in women during the "swinging sixties" (before
my time alas!) but has subsequently become less common.
Perhaps "Smudge" isn't telling us the whole story
about her past! Fortunately, for her at least her future
looks promising having put on a remarkable amount of weight
in only 2 weeks since the operation. One of the few occasions
when I can congratulate owners on their pet's weight gain!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
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