This aged girl was picked up as a stray by animal control in the north end of our county. She was wearing a red collar with no identification. After being brought to the shelter, she was assigned the name of Panda, and then given a run with shelter along with the other dogs. The day following Panda's arrival, I was asked to examine her while at the shelter. I found her to be extremely friendly and calm. This aged Labrador had an extremely large mass located on her right side in front of her rear leg. From my examination, I could only tell the mass was very large; I didn't know if this was a gravid uterus through a inguinal hernia, a cancerous tumor, or a benign mass.
I mentioned to the animal shelter staff I would take care of her if she was not claimed after her holding period. I knew she would not be adopted since most people are not looking for the dog with the biggest tumor. I wonder what went on in this pet owner's mind.
"My dog has got a little growth on its side. I will watch it to see if it grows. Dang, that lump has gotten bigger! About the size of a baseball right now, I've got to watch that thing! Wow, now it is the size of a cantaloupe. Oops, now the size of a basketball.....I got to get rid of this dog because I don't want for people to think I neglect my dog."
I decided to give this dog a second chance and take care of all of the expenses incurred.
In May 2011, I acquired the labrador to hopefully take care of her problem and make her later years more enjoyable. The surgery removed a 13.4 pound lipoma, fatty benign tumor, from the dog's side and left a two feet long incision. The incision healed nicely without any problems.
She has been treated for heartworms, vaccinated and given that second chance.
Many of you know this dog as the clinic's mascot and blood donor dog, Merle.