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Date:   26 June, 2013  
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles & rabbits
Speed in a very old dog surgery   
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
Date:   26 June, 2013 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129

Monday, June 24, 2013

1475. Speedy ear tumour surgery in a 14-year-old Maltese X

"There is plenty of time," my assistant Nia said to me as I put pressure on Dr Daniel to perform a speedy surgery on the dog with a large ear tumour outside the ear and inside the ear. "The dog is 4 years old."
Young dogs can take a longer anaesthetic time but I would like this dog to be operated within 15 minutes since it is 14 years old.

"He looks young," I told Nia. "Look at his thick white cataract eye. 4-year-old dogs seldom have such eye cataracts." Nia did not know that the young lady owner had taken great pains to groom the dog after an earlier consultation with me. She would be the type who surf the net for information. She had blood test done which showed the dog was healthy for surgery and also a course of antibiotics. However, this dog has heart murmurs and any lengthy surgery may lead to heart failure.

So I was much worried with this case. The young lady had nursed the ear to a much less infected mass and declared that the only tumour was outside the ear after a course of treatment. So just remove this external ear tumour would do, she said to me. "It is far more serious than that," I advised. "The whole of the vertical canal is tumourous, feel the hard lump and compare to the normal ear."


The dog survived the anaesthesia although she has a weak heart. The owner wanted her home on the next day and would nurse her wounds. I gave an Antisedan injection IM to reverse the drowsiness of Domitor and the dog woke up within 2 minutes. Old dogs should get up fast as prolonged recumbency may lead to respiratory or cardiac failure. Antisedan is a good antidote. The lady owner was happy as her dog was alive. No histopathology was done to reduce medical costs.

Speedy surgery is necessary in old dogs. However, this case still took around 50 minutes. I am grateful that she survived the operation as old dogs are extremely high risk anaesthetic patients. Domitor + Ketamine + isoflurane + oxygen were used.

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