Thursday Mar 22, 2012 11 am Toa Payoh Vets recording
The case of the big ear tumour
Yesterday I text messaged the owner of the GP with right ear tumour electro-excised some days ago to tell him the good news that the tumour was not cancerous. The lab report stated trichoepithelioma. The message could not be sent. So I phoned him at 10.30 am today. He was pleased with the good news. This guinea pig did not like the miniature tomatoes as much as the companion who is one-year old. "The other GP eats 3 a day," the gentleman whom I had not met, said. "He stops eating tomatoes and I gave him cucumber slices which he eats all. Also, he likes timothy hay."
The guinea pig was well cared for and loved.
"How did he get such a big ear lump?" I asked as the vet he consulted was Dr Jason Teo who worked on Saturday when he came. I took over the surgery and anaesthesia which is quite risky for GP compared to the bigger dog or cat of similar age.
"I noticed hair loss around his right ear one month ago. Then a white swelling."
"Did the other GP bite the lump since there was bleeding and ulcers when you brought him in for treatment on Saturday?" I asked.
"I don't know but he did have bite marks on his body. So he could have been bitten by the other GP."
"He could have scratched the big lump," I said. "It could be irritating as it was heavy. Is he normal now?"
"He is OK. He eats well, drinks and is active. No blood in the urine. Clear coloured urine peed. However, sometimes he shakes his head."
This case illustrates the importance of following up post-op. The owner did not call me to report on head shaking as it was not causing the guinea pig to stop eating.
"There is something inside the ear," I said. "Some blood from the bleeding and some powder from the purple permanganate applied to the wound to stop bleeding."
"What shall I do?" he asked.
"Buy a new syringe. Fill with boiled water. Squirt a few drops into the ear ear canal 3X/day. Massage the ear canal to clear the blood clots and chemicals for the next 5 days. Phone me after that."
Timely treatment of the ear canal by removing the debris will prevent infection. It must be done at home a few days. But in the dog and cat, I have to do it at the Surgery if the owner can't do it well. In this GP, it is best that the owner who cares much for the GP is assessed and can do it.
Always follow up esp. on ear surgery, if possible, in this hectic paced working llife in Singapore. The owner would not know about otitis externa aand this would worsen in time.