Friday, June 8, 2012

1019. Old Border had a large ear tumour

"I will operate for free to cut off the 1/3 of the ear," I said to the owner of the 12-year-old Border Collie. The ear tumour was 2 x 3 cm, disc-shaped wart-like and there were two other warts in the face and I had advised sectioning off the ear with the tumour on the first consultation on May 13, 2012.

Surgery would be in 7 days after a course of antibiotics. However, Dr Daniel saw the case. As each vet or doctor has his or her own way of handling a case of an ear tumour and my way was not the other way, Dr Daniel decided to excise the ear tumour when he was presented the case and I was not around. Blood test was declined.

The owner's daughter agreed to a histopathology. Diagnosis was squamous cell carcinoma.

Old dog, the ugly-looking large ear tumour looked cancerous. The owner wanted the least cost treatment and that meant no blood test or biopsy of the tumour or histopatholgoy.

Cutting off the 1/3 of the ear would ensure that any cancerous cells would be cut off by a wide margin. Healing would be easier.  Excising off the wart would leave a big wound and lead to long healing. This was the case.

Each vet has his or her own mindset and experience. There is no one surgical approach in ear wart surgery. Usually the warts are excised but not a portion of the ear. In old dogs, it is best to cut off part of the ear to ensure no spread of the cells and early recovery. A large  hole after a large tumour excision of the ear is hard on the old dog as it is itchy. Healing by granulation takes a longer time, since the dog is old and the healing is slow. But the dog still has his ear shape!

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