Oscar here. It's been a while since I penned a blog on the importance of regular, yearly visits to the docs at the PPAC so here it is!
Last week, a pup came into the clinic for a standard exam. A check of the belly revealed a large mass in there so Dr. S. took an X-Ray and an ultrasound which revealed a spleen with a lump on it. The doc scheduled a surgery to remove the spleen and sent it out for biopsy which revealed a benign hematoma (i.e. NBD).
Now, while the results of this experience were fortunately positive, not all hematoma's turn out quite as well. For instance, even if they are benign, if they hang out in there for too long, they can rupture and the afflicted pup could bleed out. In these cases a Chinese herb called Yunan Baiyao can help stop the bleeding but even with the herb, they will still ultimately require surgery and most likely, a blood transfusion.
Then there are those tumors that are even worse..some of them are malignant which means they could be cancerous. Now when this happens, they can sometimes be treated with a course of chemotherapy coupled with surgery, but they should be considered on a case by case basis and your doc can advise how best to move forward.
Now the catch is, as in the former, benign situation, it's really hard to even tell that anything is amiss with your pet—there are no real outward facing symptoms—which is why it's so important for you to have regular checkins with your vet. These yearly doctor's appointments can help reveal anything from small issues to larger ones that are cause for concern. So think of it like a tune up if nothing else. And a tune up that could cost your pet's life if not addressed.
So remember, next time you question whether your pet's yearly physical is all that important, remind yourself of this cautionary tale.
Til' next time.