A splenectomy for 11 year old German Shephard Katie (photos in this story may disturb some individuals)

Katie, an 11 year old German Shepherd Dog first came to visit Dr Andrea Montesano in late October because her owners had noticed that she was quiet and had not eaten for a day. Upon examination Dr Andrea was suspicious of a large lump in her abdomen area and noted that her heart rate was fast and irregular. Katie’s owners elected to have a screening blood test to check the function of her major organs such as her kidneys and liver before any x-rays were taken.

The blood results showed that Katie was anaemic but all other results were normal. The next step for determining what was wrong was an x-ray of Katie’s abdomen to determine whether a lump was present. An xray was taken of Katie’s abdomen and a large mass could be seen in her splenic region.

Dr Raj Wicks spoke to the owners and they decided to give Katie an anaesthetic and try to remove the mass. She was given a general anaesthetic and pain relief and Dr Raj and Dr Wayne Fitzgerald performed an exploratory laparotomy in order to visualise the mass and determine if it was able to be removed. The anaesthetic was performed with accredited vet nurse Lauren paterson monitoring her vital signs throughout. The mass was confirmed to be on the spleen and was exteriorised and removed entirely. The rest of the abdomen looked normal.

Katie was recovered from her anaesthetic and given pain relief to keep her comfortable. The mass was submitted to a laboratory for testing to determine if the entire lump was completely removed and what type of tumour it was.

The next day Katie’s owners were able to take her home. When Katie revisited a few days later she was looking happy and healthy.