Difficult Surgery – WARNING. It looks a bit gory.
Nala is a ten year old Staffie. For a few years she had had a growth on the front of her foot. We had been discussing how it may be able to be removed, but it would be difficult and have very little margin if the tumour was a nasty cancer. Sadly before Nala’s owners decided to proceed with surgery the tumour started to rapidly grow. This is often a bad sign.
Unfortunately we dont have a picture of Nala’s tumour but it was larger than a golf ball sitting on her middle two toes.
Before surgery, serious discussions were had. There were three options: Remove the tumour leaving the toes and have the skin slowly close by contraction; amputate her two middle toes or amputate her entire leg.
When Nala was anaesthetized and the foot examined, it became obvious that the tumour had infiltrated her middle toes and the tumour could not be removed leaving those toes. A radical resection of the two middle toes and pads was performed.
The skin closed well but there was still a significant concern some tumour remained.
Nala chewed at the wound, as often happens in our patients unless they are very well supervised. It became quite red and swollen requiring weeks of pain relief and antibiotics.
Sadly some of the skin died, making a wound that would need to close slowly over time.
A few weeks later it was looking more settled. Concerningly, the lab results came back revealing that we had removed a soft tissue sarcoma and tumour was present at the margin of the incision. These are aggressive tumours which will commonly grow back within a few weeks.
A follow up with Nala a few months later (her owners had moved to Queensland). Nala’s foot had healed really well, she was using the foot nearly normally and there was no sign of the tumour returning.
A great result for Nala.