WARNING - CONFRONTING IMAGES: A NSW dog has been given a second chance at life, after a massive ulcerated lump was successfully removed from his head.
It only took one month for the “nasty looking mass” to grow to 10cm by 9cm on the left side of 9-year-old Konour’s mouth, according to Somersby Animal Hospital.
Operating vet Dr Kat Skarbek told Yahoo News Australia that while not all lumps found growing on pets need to be removed, this one was of particular concern.
“Konour wasn’t originally bothered by it, but once it started to ulcerate it became quite large and was dangling off his face,” she said.
“The fact that it was so fast growing and so large signified it was going to be malignant.
“These types of cancers in dogs are able to metastasis, so they can go to the lungs and other organs in the body.
“If it was left there it would have spread.”
Konour’s advanced age put the him at an increased anaesthetic risk, adding pressure during what would be a 45 minute surgery.
To help calm the anxious German shepherd, his owner stayed in the room as his drugs were administered.
Once the sedatives had taken effect, a drowsy Konour was taken to a private room.
A Spotify playlist offering calming classical music for dogs helped calm the room as surgery on what was later found to be a soft tissue sarcoma began.
While a nurse monitored his vitals, Dr Skarbek took out her scalpel, going deep and removing “quite a large amount” around the mass to help prevent the growth returning.
“There’s a lot of nerves and blood vessels so you have to be very careful when you’re dissecting through not to sever anything important,” Dr Skarbek said.
“The mass was starting to smell because it had become so ulcerated - it was a little bit whiffy.”
It took 21-stitches to close up the gaping hole left by the surgery, and biopsy results have since shown all cancerous tissue was successfully removed.
Almost a month after the surgery, Dr Skarbek says Konour is now back to normal - both physically and mentally.
“Now that his fur has come back, you can’t even tell that there was a mass there at all,” she said.
“Most of our pets do have one or two lumps and bumps, especially as they get older, so it’s important to have a vet check them over to see if anything nasty needs to be removed.
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