Ten year old Rufus was rushed into see us late one evening at practice in Eastry, Sandwich, when his owner noticed that he seemed very lethargic and uncomfortable. His abdomen appeared very swollen and his gums had become very pale.
After an initial triage assessment, Vet Claire quickly moved Rufus to our imaging suite for an ultrasound scan of his abdomen. The scan showed that a large tumor had formed on Rufus’ spleen and had started to bleed, causing him significant pain and causing his body to go into shock. Previously Rufus had shown no symptoms and had been enjoying himself running around only a few hours beforehand.
Being a life or death situation, Vet Claire and Nurse Meg undertook emergency surgery to remove the whole spleen that night. This is a complex surgery as the fragile splenic tumour must be handled very gently to avoid causing life-threatening bleeding. The tumour weighed a shocking 2kg (a sixth of his whole bodyweight!). The surgery finished at 1am and Rufus stayed with us for the night for close monitoring and continued pain relief.
The following day he was fit enough to go home to his family and we are delighted to report that he is doing incredibly well at home. Due to social distancing we have been performing follow up appointments via our video consultation service. This allows us to see him in his normal environment and check that the incision is healing well.