Pet of the month

Dr Caroline, Christine and Kylie with Buddy

Buddy’s Story

Buddy’s family and Spearwood Veterinary Hospital would like to share this story about the importance of regular health checks and routine blood screening for your pets.

Buddy is a 10 year old, Lhasa Apso and he has been a special patient of ours since becoming part of the Spearwood Vet family in 2005. Buddy’s family have taken very good care of him, we see Buddy regularly for check-ups, grooming appointments and Buddy has never missed his annual vaccinations.

In August, Spearwood Vet had a senior pet promotion. Our recommendation is for any pet over seven years of age to have a health check every 6 months, and it was this promotion that prompted Buddy’s family to bring him in for a visit. During Buddy’s check over nothing appeared out of the ordinary. To ensure Buddy was indeed in top condition, it was recommended to run and in-house blood panel that can detect any early internal changes that may not be seen during a physical exam. Based on Buddy’s check over and history, we expected these result to come back within the normal limits. They did not. This routine blood screen picked up changes in Buddy’s liver and a liver ultrasound was recommended. It was devestating to find that the results from the ultrasound showed a mass on Buddy’s liver. Buddy’s family wanted to do everything possible to help Buddy and so to investigate further, Buddy was referred to have a CT scan performed. The CT scan helped to determine that surgery was possible to remove the mass, and Buddy under went surgery to remove the left lobe of his liver. The mass was confirmed to be a hepatocellular carcinoma, which is a common type of malignant liver tumour in dogs. Typically symptoms do not present with these tumours until the cancer reaches an advanced stage. Early results indicate that there is no cancer in the surrounding tissue but Budy will continue to have regualr monitoring and scans.

Buddy is a very lucky (and much loved) dog, and the team at Spearwood Vet can’t express how happy we are, that Buddy is recovering well. We will continue to keep you updated on Buddy’s progress, but for now please share Buddy’s story and promote the imprtant role regular health checks and screening play in the continued health of your pets.