Ticketie was referred to our internal medicine team in March last year for investigations of urinary problems and coughing. Chiara, one of the medicine specialists, performed a workup including a CT scan and this unfortunately revealed a 10cm mass (tumour) in one of Ticketie’s lungs.
The best way to manage most lung tumours in dogs is with surgery. Unfortunately, most tumours in this location are malignant (cancerous) and although surgery can result in relatively good survival times and quality of life, the tumours often recur over time. At that stage, low dose ‘chemotherapy’ is sometimes used to try and slow down the rate of recurrence.
After talking through the options, Ticketie’s owner decided that surgery was the best chance of improving her quality of life. This was performed by Mark, one of our soft tissue surgeons, soon after the diagnosis was made. Ticketie’s caudal (back) lung lobe on the left side was removed through an approach between her ribs. A human stapling device was used to apply a tight seal across the air tubes and blood vessels that go into the lung lobe. The lymph node that drains the lung lobe was also removed, to see if there were cancer cells inside it, which fortunately there weren’t.
Ticketie made an excellent recovery from surgery and within a few weeks was allowed to resume her normal lifestyle. She has been back to see us several times to review her progress and repeat the imaging of her chest to look for signs of tumour recurrence/spread. Her last visit was at 18 months post-surgery and we were thrilled to see that there were no signs of tumour on this scan.
Well done Ticketie!