Paul McCarthy

A lucky haircut and the benefits of monitoring blood tests

A lucky haircut and the benefits of monitoring blood tests

A few weeks ago my dog Kia came in for her spring haircut. Gwen our groomer did a great job. She had been in top form but as she was in the clinic anyway I decided to do a blood test as a precaution as she is 11 years old. The results showed an unexpected minor change in her liver enzymes. She immediately had an abdominal ultrasound where I found a concerning lesion on the spleen.

What could this lesion mean?

The lesion could have been a sign of an aggressive cancer, a weakening of the wall of the spleen (potentially fatal) or could have been something insignificant to her health. The statistics made it an easy decision although I must admit trying to think with clarity was difficult given the emotional attachment.

kia after surgery

What started out as a haircut on Monday turned into a splenectomy (removal of the spleen) on Friday. It was a stressful surgery but being a springer Kia came through the operation very well. I am most grateful to my colleagues for their excellent care. The picture above is her out for her walk the morning after the op- she refused to be left behind!

The results

We took biopsies from the spleen to be sent off to the lab. A very worrisome few days followed before we got the report. The spleen was clear of any cancer but it did show changes that had weakened her splenic wall which made her a likely candidate for internal bleeding. Thankfully we caught it before this happened!

It brought home to me the importance of monitoring blood tests in senior pets. It is something pets over 8 years old should ideally have done annually.


Luckily this story has a happy ending because we decided to do routine bloods and she is back to herself as you can see from her playing in the river with the kids.

kia recovered

*If you would like your pet to have a checkup please don’t hesitate to call*

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