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Spindle cell tumour

Mack, a 12 year old staffy, was presented with a large ulcerated tumour on his foot which had previously been diagnosed as a spindle cell tumour. It had grown rapidly in the recent weeks and had now burst through the overlying skin. Being an active dog, the owners wished to save his leg if at all possible.

Spindle cell tumours are highly malignant and invade soft tissues. They can be very hard to control and oftne necessitate amputation of the affected limb.

X-rays showed destruction of the bone inside Mack's outside toe by the tumour, but there appeared to be no involvement of the adjacent toe or wrist joint. Chest xrays were clear and his blood picture was normal. The draining lymph node was normal. It was decided to try to remove the tumour to give Mack some extra quality time in his senior years.

At surgery, we had to aggressive and remove the entire toe right up to the wrist (carpal) joint and down to the adjacent bone (metacarpals). This left us with a large defect which was far too big to close over with skin. The wound was packed with Flamazine ointment (used for treating burns victims) and covered with a none adhesive dressing (Jelonet) and then padded with Soffban. The whole bandage was supported by a half cast made from a re-usable material called Vet Lite.

By day 5, we had some granulation tissue filling the defect (nice bright red material seen in the photos below). Once the granulation tissue fills in the defects and gives a nice smooth, highly vascular bed, the skin edges start to creep along the edges and slowly close the wound.

A fantastic demonstration of the way nature heals. We may need to do a skin graft at a later stage should the skin not completely cover the wound, but so far so good.

Bandage changes are still in progress every 5 days. So far, the wound healing has been excellent and the deficit is closing nicely.

Click on thumbnail images to enlarge
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Flamazine