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Rosie’s Skin Graft Surgery ***GRAPHIC CONTENT***

By John Morgan | Dated May 29, 2018

It would be safe to say that Rosie, the courageous 11-year-old Kelpie, is now a platinum frequent flyer at Gordon Vet.

3 months ago, Rosie presented to Gordon Vet with a large golf ball sized lump on her ankle. Sadly, this was diagnosed as a cancerous skin mass called a Mast Cell Tumour. The great news was that the cancer had not spread to her abdomen, chest or lymph nodes.  The bad news was that the ankle is a very tricky location for lump removal surgery as there is not much skin for wound closure. This often means we need to amputate the leg. Fortunately, Rosie’s owners are very dedicated and opted for advanced skin reconstructive surgery using a skin graft to close the wound following the lump removal.

Cells from Rosie’s lump were collected before surgery via a needle showing it was a mast cell tumour.

On her day of surgery, Rosie arrived with a brave face. Rosie’s surgery was so intricate that it required two surgeons.  While Dr Imogene worked on the donor skin site (in Rosie’s case a large section of skin was harvested from her flank), Dr John removed the cancerous lump and very meticulously prepared and applied the skin graft over Rosie’s ankle.

John preparing the skin for attachment and Imogene closing the wound where the graft tissue was collected.

Collecting the graft tissue from the side of the abdomen.

Preparation of the graft. After this photo the tissue underneath the skin, fat and vessels was removed to ensure maximum chance of graft survival.

Graft skin once applied.

Midway point of treatment. Bandages were reapplied twice weekly to protect the graft.

At this point the bandage could be left off and allowed to heal over time.

The surgery was a huge success. With the help of her devoted owners, Rosie has been returning to our clinic twice weekly to clean, re-dress and re-bandage her new skin. We are very happy with the end result and the hair from the skin graft even grows in the right direction! Rosie still has a long road ahead of her as she commences oral chemotherapy.  She has been an absolute pleasure to treat!

Rosie at her last bandage change. She has been an amazing patient!

John Morgan
Written by John Morgan

John first started with Gordon Vet Hospital back in 2004 as a weekend Nurse while studying Veterinary Science. When he graduated he worked in Goulburn for a few years before spending 2 years doing locum work through Canada. John returned to Australia in 2013 and came back to Gordon Vet Hospital. John completed his postgraduate studies in Small Animal Practice in 2013 and in 2015 gained Membership to the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Surgery.

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