We’ve had some very interesting cases recently. One springs to mind immediately.

An elderly dog called Bouncer was very weak when his owners arrived home from work late one evening in November. The owners were shocked to find him in such an unexpected condition because he was fine when they left home and he was even playing around the evening before. The vet on call stabilised him and the following morning we checked him out. The dog was anaemic, weak and had a distended abdomen. Blood was found when the abdomen was tapped with a needle and we decided that an xray of the abdomen and an ultrasound scan would be needed to help us diagnose where the blood was coming from. Blood results confirmed the anaemia was marked but not critical and also showed signs of increases in blood urea. Despite xrays and scans, the lesion could not be localised or confirmed and the decision was made, in consultation and in agreement with the owners to do an exploratory laparotomy.  Bobby’s owners were really fond of him and were anxious to help him if he could be helped.  The surgery revealed a very unusual lesion, something our practice has never seen before. Bobby had a tumour in one of his ureters – the fine tubes that bring urine from the kidney to the bladder – and this had blocked that ureter and caused the urine on that side to damn up and distend the kidney. Rupture occurred allowing urine and blood to spill into the abdominal cavity causing anaemia, toxicity and collapse. Our colleague, Aidan Miller, was able to resect the ureter, tumour and whole kidney on that side and Bobby improved dramatically over the following few days.

The tumour was sent to the lab for histology and the diagnosis was ‘soft tissue sarcoma, low grade’. The tumour was confined to the ureter and we and the owners are hoping there will not be a recurrence and that Bouncer will get a good quality of life for a good few more years.

He is due a repeat blood test next week to see if the values are returning to normal