Swindon vets save dog with high-grade fibrosarcoma - Veterinary Practice
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Swindon vets save dog with high-grade fibrosarcoma

Experts vets at a leading multi-disciplinary hospital in Swindon has carried out life-saving surgery on an adorable eleven-year-old pup, dramatically stopping the progression of the fibrosarcoma

Eleven-year-old Yogi was diagnosed with a biologically high-grade fibrosarcoma in his upper jaw by world-class specialists at Linnaeus-owned Eastcott Veterinary Referrals in Swindon.

Dedicated owner Anna Gaughan, who is veterinary surgeon herself at fellow Linnaeus practice Calder Vets in Yorkshire, first noticed a grey tooth and a subsequent growth on Yogi’s upper jaw. An initial minor surgery to take out the tooth was performed on Yogi, following which he appeared to be in better spirits. However, the growth came back with a vengeance a week later.

Initial lab results from a sample taken during the procedure did not reveal anything sinister but showed anomalies which owner Anna grew concerned about. She approached Andrew Perry, dentistry department lead at Eastcott and renowned EBVS European veterinary specialist in dentistry.

Anna said: “I’ve known Andrew for some time having sat in on his training sessions a few times at our practice and was reassured by his skill and expertise in the field. I sent Yogi’s initial reports over to him and he confirmed he was slightly worried Yogi had a very rare and aggressive type of cancer in his mouth. It is often very difficult to diagnose, so Andrew recommended we take him to Eastcott, so he could investigate further.”

Although it was her birthday, Anna drove Yogi down immediately from Yorkshire to Eastcott’s Swindon hospital where Andrew and the team performed a deep biopsy and a full head and chest CT scan on her beloved pet. A few weeks later, results revealed Yogi did have cancer and that the mass was growing quite dramatically.

Commenting on the diagnosis, Andrew said: “This type of cancer is highly invasive and locally destructive. It is often a challenge to diagnose due to its apparent low activity when reviewed under the microscope.

“It is a very frustrating diagnosis, as histologically the tumour may look benign but clinically it has the potential to invade soft and hard tissue, spreading quite quickly and dramatically. Often in these cases, even CT scans don’t provide an accurate picture of what is happening on a cellular level, so even if you just remove the tumour there is a high possibility cells have been left behind, giving it a higher chance of regrowth.

“Yogi’s mass was large and had expanded into his upper jaw. Computed tomographic imaging revealed that it was also invading into the tissue of the nose. It was growing very quickly and due to its size and extent, we knew the only option to cure all the cancer was to resect all of the affected tissues including the nose.”

Although devastated with the diagnosis, Anna had to decide quite quickly as the tumour had grown significantly by this point, with Yogi unable to feed himself and the affected area appearing very tender. Even though the surgery would radically change his appearance, Anna knew it would prove to be the best option to ensure Yogi survived and was able to live a happier and healthier life.

Andrew continued: “This is an extremely complex procedure and several Eastcott team members including soft tissue specialists, anaesthetics and nurses came together to make sure the surgery was a success and Yogi was given the highest level of care.

“Yogi was a fabulous patient and although this treatment was one which affected his outward appearance, it never affected his amazing personality. He needed lots of post-operative care, including help with learning how to eat normally but I am happy to report the treatment has, so far, been extremely successful with no evidence of any cancer remaining.”

Anna said: “Yogi is such an important part of my family and is really the best dog ever. He is so happy and lively all the time, so it was hard to see him for the first time after surgery, but I am so pleased at how well he has taken it all and, more importantly, how healthy he now is.

“I am so grateful to Andrew and the team at Eastcott for everything they did for Yogi and for how brilliantly they handled the whole situation.

“I was given regular updates and assurances throughout the entire procedure and even when I took him home to care for him myself. They really did go above and beyond the call of duty and I am eternally grateful for it.”

For more information on Eastcott, visit their website or search for Eastcott Veterinary Referrals on social media.

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