Bart's big belly

Bart first came to our clinic in March 2011 as quite an unhappy 8 year old undesexed Labrador. He had been having skin issues for many months which were getting worse despite being on different medications. Bart was almost completely bald along his entire underside starting from his neck all the way to inbetween his hindlegs. His skin was very inflammed and he could not stop scratching himself. The skin condition also included his ear canals that were filled with a dark discharge. On top of everything else a large mass was palpated in his abdomen. This was a concern as he was a unilateral cryptorchid (he only had one descended testicle) and had an enlarged protstate.

Bart's owners were asked to participate in a gruelling regimen of bathing Bart using a medicated shampoo and a healthy cocktail of medications including antibiotics, antifungals, corticosteroids ear cleaners and ear drops. Poor Bart was made to wear an Elizabethan collar to minimise the self trauma from his licking and biting of his skin. It took a bit of nursing and TLC to encourage him to start taking the medications but once he was feeling better and eating reliably his owners were able to continue the medication schedule.

Once Bart was stabilised, surgery was performed to castrate him and investigate the abdominal mass. The surgery went smoothly and Bart recovered like a trooper. He still had to wear the silly Elizabethan collar though!

The histopathology of the retained testicle indicated that it was a Sertoli Cell Tumour. His prostate was enlarged but was not cancerous. The diagnosis of the Sertoli Cell Tumour explained all of Bart's clinical signs. His enlarged belly and prostate, the hair loss and the anaemia from bone marrow suppression, the generalised skin and ear infection was all due to his suppressed immune system causing his depression and inappetance.

Bart visited the clinic last month to collect his Advocate. All of his fur has grown back, his belly has shrunk back to normal size and he is as happy as a golden Labrador should be, mischieviously trying to jump onto the table for his treats! Go Bart!

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