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"Wilbur" - Westie with Testicular Cancer
Photo:
Wilbur

Most people will be all too aware that should they find a lump on their pet they should seek advice regarding the possibility of cancer. Unfortunately, cancer can be much more subtle than that.

"Wilbur's" owner was the first to admit that she did not make a point of feeling "Wilbur's" testicles on a regular basis. I on the other hand, as part of "Wilbur's" annual health check will routinely palpate his "credentials" as we like to say for fear of embarrassment.

It was during that same health check that I noticed that there was an appreciable difference in consistency between the two testicles. One felt much firmer than the other. This subtle change may be the only finding to raise suspicion of testicular cancer and is the type of examination most owners should feel comfortable in performing without fear of embarrassment or "arrest!"

Early diagnosis, as we are all well aware, is crucial in the success of surgical excision. Luckily for "Wilbur" this simple check and prompt surgery has meant that a potentially dangerous problem has been resolved quickly and without the need for any further medication or treatment.

Whilst his owner and "Wilbur" will now be spared any further "embarrassing" examinations in the future it is a timely reminder for all those owners of male dogs to overcome their own sensitivities and check those "credentials" on a regular basis!

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

Geraldine Young BVSc CertSAM MRCVS

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