Commitment to Care: Louie

Meet Louie, an eleven year old Beagle Mix.  Louie came to see Dr. Alberdi for a second opinion after his owners had received a recommendation from his previous veterinarian to remove two large tumors, they wanted to make sure that it was the best choice for him.  One of his tumors was very large, lobulated, and covered a large portion of his right side and groin area. This mass had been there for about two years and had grown slowly until recently, over the past few weeks-months, it began to grow more rapidly. 

Dr. Alberdi did a full physical exam on Louie and noted that he had numerous tumors under the skin.  A fine needle aspirate had been previously performed on the larger tumors which diagnosed them as a lipoma (a benign tumor of fat). A FNA involves taking a very small needle with a syringe to remove some cells and place them directly on a microscope slide for evaluation.

Louie was then scheduled to be evaluated for surgery by Dr. Wallen.  After pre-anesthetic bloodwork and radiographs to ensure there were no underlying problems, Louie was deemed healthy, other than some dental disease and the tumors present.  A treatment plan was presented and an appointment for his surgery was scheduled. 

The day of surgery, Louie seemed happy to be here and came into treatment with his tail wagging. He was prepped for surgery with an IV catheter and pain medication. During surgery, his vitals remained steady and he did great throughout the whole procedure. He enjoyed his warm heating pad and all the love he received during recovery. Louie continued to do well at home and must have felt so much better without the discomfort of the tumors.  All seemed to be smooth sailing, until four days after surgery, Louie managed to work around his e collar and get some of his sutures out which opened up a portion of the incision.

After re-examining Louie, Dr Alberdi  found a small section of the incision, approximately four centimeters long, had opened up but the remaining portion was still healing up nicely. Dr. Alberdi applied lidocaine to numb the open area and used staples to close the skin. Louie was then fitted with a hard e-collar to prevent him from reaching the incision again. 

Louie seemed to have learned his lesson, he didn’t bother his wound any more and did great for the continuation of his healing. When the sutures were removed from the previously opened portion, Dr. Alberdi gently cleaned the scabbing with warm water, to expose healthy healing tissue underneath.  She recommended Louie keep his cone on for an additional five days and sent him home with some topical medication. On his last visit his incision was checked and Dr. Alberdi removed one last staple that had been hidden under a small area of scabbing, other than that everything looked great.  Louie’s parents are happy that he now gets to enjoy life without being encumbered with the extra poundage he’s been carrying around for the last couple of years.

The results from the histopathologist came back with the best new’s, both of Louie’s tumors were in fact lipomas. This means Louie does not need any additional treatment. Thankfully, lipomas once removed have a low chance of regrowing in the same area. 

Lumps and bumps are very common in our older canine friends. It is important to always have new growths checked out by your family veterinarian.