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Allen the Gentle Giant.

This is Allen. He is a four year old St Bernard who weighs nearly 80kg.

He came in and saw Dr Jill because a skin lesion had developed under his left eye. It was just over 10mm diameter and was red and raised. It was also very, very close to his eyelid. Amazingly, Allen allowed Dr Jill to do a fine needle aspirate of the mass, but there were not enough cells to get a diagnosis. What to do?

Most likely the skin lesion was a histiocytoma, which is a benign skin lump that would regress over time. Unfortunately if it were not this type of tumour it could be a more severe problem requiring disfiguring surgery near his eye. The pros and cons of surgery were carefully discussed and it was decided Allen would have an excision biopsy of the tumour.

Operating on an 80kg dog is not easy. Moving him from floor to table and then to recovery takes a dedicated team and some hefty lifting. Allen was a wonderful patient and once anaethetised was kept on our portable table which just about fitted him.

An incision biopsy removes the mass with a very small 1-2mm margin. If the mass is benign it will usually be curative but if the mass is more serious a revision surgery will be needed. The surgery was successful with no notable change to Allen’s eyelid shape. Allen recovered really well. He completely filled our largest kennel.

In a few hours he was up and ready to go home. A few days later the lab results returned. Allen’s mass was a benign histiocytoma which was completely removed. What a fantastic relief.

10 days later Allen came for his post op check. Everything had healed well and Allen even let Dr Jill remove his sutures. What a superstar big giant!  Explore all our interesting posts

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