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Veterinarian Technician April 2010 (Vol 31, No 4)

Final View: Splenectomy—to the Max!

by Michel Peterson, CVT

    Max, a 6-year-old, intact male Labrador retriever, presented with a 6-day history of appearing bloated and being "a little off." On physical examination, Max seemed happy, nonpainful, bright, alert, and responsive, with a large, firm abdomen. The results of a serum chemistry profile were normal. A complete blood count revealed mild anemia, an elevated white blood cell count, and mature neutrophilia. Abdominal radiography revealed a large mass, likely associated with the spleen, within the central abdominal cavity. Ultrasonography revealed a cavitated lesion associated with the spleen. All other abdominal tissues appeared to be within normal ultrasonic limits. Exploratory surgery was recommended, and the owners agreed to it.

    Surgery revealed a very large mass associated with the spleen. No other organs appeared to be affected. Splenectomy was performed. After surgery, the mass was found to be 17 lb! Histopathology determined that the mass was a benign hematoma. Since surgery, Max has done exceptionally well and is acting like a new dog … that is 17 lb lighter!

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