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Joey’s Pet of the Week – Uma Big Surgery

By admin | Dated May 10, 2017

Hey gang! How are you all? It’s been super busy here at GVH. My Instagram pic yesterday certainly highlighted just how busy I am…..

Ok, so this week’s post is a bit of a long one, so let’s get straight into it. My star is the gorgeous Uma, a 9year old German Shepherd from Pennant Hills.uma04 Uma came in to see Dr John Morgan because she had had yucky bloody poo with some mucus for the past few weeks. Uma also has a history of renal disease. On examination, Uma had a mild temperature, 38.6′, and when Dr John felt her abdomen, her colon felt thickened. Dr John could also feel a mass on the dorsal, or top side, of Uma’s colon, about 7cm from her anus. Uma’s family needed to have a chat about what they wanted to do. We could do an ultrasound and run some blood tests to try and work out what the mass was, or we could surgically remove it. Dr John sent Uma home with some antibiotics to help with her temperature while her family discussed the options.

Uma’s family were naturally worried about putting her through a big surgery without knowing if it was going to significantly help her. So after a chat with Dr John, Uma was booked in for an ultrasound where we could hopefully do a fine needle aspirate of the mass to work out what it was. The ultrasound revealed that there was some lymph node involvement with the mass, which is not great news. Uma’s family decided to go ahead with the surgery.

Dr John hoped that he would be able to pull the mass through Uma’s anus, which would be a much quicker and less problematic procedure for her.uma03 Unfortunately, Dr John was unable to reach the mass from this approach, so Uma was quickly prepped and scrubbed for major abdominal surgery. Nurse Nicole scrubbed in to help Dr John.uma01 Dr John removed the mass and some nearby lymph nodes, which were sent off the an external Lab for testing.

Uma's mass

Uma’s mass

It was a BIG surgery for Uma. But she was a superstar in recovery. She was quiet, but you would be too after such a big procedure, but she was alert, which made everyone happy. She was started on IV antibiotics to help prevent infection, a common complication after such big abdominal surgery. Uma’s pre existing renal disease limited our options for her pain relief. The types of medication that are commonly used for post op pain relief are not good for kidney’s that are already not working well. Dr John applied a slow acting pain relief patch to Uma’s skin. This would slowly release pain relief over a 24hour period. Uma would be Nil by Mouth for at least 24hours, which would give her intestines and colon a chance to heal before they had to digest food. That night, Uma was even walking a small distance, which was a promising sign!

The next morning, Uma was still quiet. Well, that was until I walked by and she barked at me! She was clearly feeling a little better! Uma had chewed out her IV drip line, (naughty Uma!), so a new one was put in. Uma was walking a little better today. Her pain patch was doing a great job at controlling her pain and she was getting her antibiotics through the IV drip line. Uma settled in for a nice, quiet post op day.

Day two post op and Uma had chewed out another IV drip line! She was brighter again and her surgery site looked good. Dr John decided to try her on some oral food and water. If all went well during the day, Uma would get to go home for some much needed TLC from her family. And that’s what happened.

Uma came back a few days after for a post op recheck and to get the results from the external Lab. The good news was she was healing nicely from her surgery. Unfortunately, the histopatholgy results were not good. Uma has colonic adenocarcinoma with metastasis to the mesentery and lymph nodes. What does this mean? Uma has colon cancer that has spread to her mesentery and lymph nodes. Given that the cancer had already spread, the Pathologist said Uma’s prognosis was around 3months. Giving clients news like this is the worst part of the job. We will closely monitor Uma’s weight and quality of life over the next few months and keep her as happy as we possibly can.

Now, because I hate ending on such a sad note, how about a little sneak peak of a story that will be in the upcoming newsletter? Meet Nurse Jess!Jess Pic She has joined the GVH team after Nurse Emma left me, I mean us. There is already a little bio on the website if you can’t wait for the next addition of the newsletter. She thinks I’m amazing, so I have decided she can stay! Meows for now, love Joey xox

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