A lumpy decision for Jezabelle
This is Jezabelle, a 3 year old golden Labrador. A couple of months ago, her owners noticed a lump on her back near the base of her tail. They monitored it for a while and it did not appear to be growing or changing, however, they thought it would be best to have it checked by the vet so brought Jezabelle to the clinic.
During Jezabelle's visit, Dr Libby gave her a full check over. Aside from the lump, Jezabelle appeared to be in good health. Dr Libby suggested taking a sample from the lump to find out what it was. This could be done in one of three ways.
1. She could take a fine needle aspirate, or FNA. This involves inserting a needle into the lump and drawing a sample into a syringe. This sample is then examined under a microscope to determine what sort of cells are present in the lump. This procedure can be carried out with the patient conscious, however, it is not the most reliable or accurate test as it takes only a small sample.
2. She could take an incisional biopsy. This involves taking a larger sample from the lump while the patient is under anaesthetic and sending it to the laboratory for testing. This method is good for giving accurate results, however, some of the lump still remains in the patient.
3. She could take an excisional biopsy. This involves removing the entire lump and some of the tissue around it. This completely removes the lump, however, it can be a dramatic surgery if the lump is very large or in a difficult location.
After discussing the options, Jezabelle's owners decided to opt for an excisional biopsy to remove the lump completely. They also decided to send the lump away for testing to see what it was and to ensure that all of the abnormal tissue had been removed.
On the day of Jezabelle's surgery, Dr Libby and Nurse Rebecca prepared her for her anaesthetic. She was given a 'pre-medication', a dose of medications to help sedate her and make her fall asleep and wake up more smoothly. She was placed on intravenous fluids to support her blood pressure and to help her liver and kidneys deal with the anaesthetic drugs. Nurse Rebecca monitored Jezabelle's vital signs throughout the procedure while Dr Libby removed the lump and the surrounding tissue. The lump was placed in a biopsy sample pot with a formaldehyde solution to preserve the cells before sending them to the lab for testing. Jezabelle's surgery went very smoothly and she woke up and recovered well. She was soon wagging her tail and asking passing nurses for cuddles.
Jezabelle's biopsy has been sent to the laboratory for testing and we should know the results soon. We wish Jezabelle and her owners all the best for the future.