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* Warning this story does include graphic photos *

Charlotte is a very cute and cheeky, nine-year-old Maltese cross who recently visited the clinic because her owners were becoming concerned about her growing tummy and unexplained weight gain. Charlotte’s owners had been monitoring her weight closely, increasing her exercise and reducing her food intake but Charlotte continued to gain weight.

Dr Sebastian examined Charlotte and recommended an abdominal ultrasound. This showed poor little Charlotte had a large mass in her abdomen. The mass was so large it was very difficult to determine whether it was attached to her liver or her spleen.

Charlotte’s owners were faced with a very difficult decision. They could do nothing and let her enjoy what time she had left before putting her to sleep when her quality of life deteriorated. With this approach there was always a risk that the mass could suddenly rupture and she could die from internal bleeding. The other alternative was to attempt surgical removal of the mass. Charlotte’s dedicated owners decided to proceed with surgery.

When Dr Sebastian opened the abdominal cavity he found that the mass was attached to the spleen. This was good news for Charlotte as the spleen, unlike the liver, is an organ that can be safely removed. Charlotte’s splenic mass weighed in at a whopping 1.5kg!!! This is huge as Charlotte only weighed 9.2kg herself (including the mass). It was now important to find out if the mass was benign or malignant so it was sent off to the lab for histological analysis and Charlotte’s owners had an anxious wait for the results.

Lucky for Charlotte and her owners it was great news!!! Charlotte’s mass was benign consisting of a lipoma (fatty mass) and a haemangioma (benign tumour of the blood vessels). Now that Charlotte has recovered from her surgery she has regained her slim figure along with her zest for life.

Below are some pictures of Charlotte before, during and after surgery!

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