Case Study Amber

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by Helen Stephens Helen Stephens
Amber is an eleven year old female Rottweiler. She came into the practice for a routine annual vaccination to see Grant the vet.

Grant examined Amber and found her to be in good health and gave her the injection. He then offered Amber’s owners a Well Pet Blood Test which tests the kidneys, liver, blood glucose and blood count. This is a small blood screen only available at the time of annual vaccination.

Amber's owners thought this would be a good idea and the blood was taken. Grant looked at Amber's results and saw that one of her liver enzymes was high. He advised that Amber have a retest 2 weeks later. This was done and her liver results had improved but were still high. Amber’s blood was checked 2 weeks later and the results were high again. Throughout all this time Amber was behaving normally at home.

At this point Grant decided to have Amber into the surgery for an ultrasound examination of her abdomen.

The ultrasound exam showed a tumour in Amber’s spleen. Her liver also had a small lump. Grant discussed the options with Amber’s owners. Her owners were unsure of whether or not to put Amber through an operation due to her age. Grant reassured the owners that it would be the best thing to do. If the surgery was not done she was likely to become very ill within the next few weeks to months.

They decided to go ahead and have Amber’s spleen removed. At the time of surgery it was not known if the tumour in Amber’s spleen was benign or malignant. The spleen and lump from the liver was sent to the lab for analysis.

Amber was sent home the same day and seen back 2 days later for a post operative check. She was very bright and was getting over her operation well.

A week later the results were back from the lab. The tumour in Amber’s spleen was benign and also the lump from the liver. It was the best possible outcome.

If Amber had not had the Well Pet Blood Test we would never have known anything was wrong until it may have been too late. The tumour in her spleen and liver was too small to feel when she had her vaccination. We see a lot of these cases when the tumour in the spleen has started to bleed and the dog presents in a very sick state. The patient may then need a blood transfusion before having the operation. The risk of the anaesthetic is much higher in these cases. Amber was able to have her surgery in the best possible condition and therefore her recovery was quick and easy.

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