Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Rudy's mysterious mass

Rudy is a 3-year-old Golden Retriever cross from Wagga. Rudy had been making gagging/coughing noises after exercise for some weeks, he then started regurgitating which was when he was referred to our team.

Radiographs identified a mass in the thorax (chest) next to the diaphragm, and surgery confirmed this to be the size of a lime. The procedure involved opening the abdomen and the chest to remove the mass, which proved to be intricate given that it was stuck to his lungs, oesophagus, a major nerve and was associated with a large fistula (tunnel) created by the mass, which went through the diaphragm and under the liver!

Although a grass seed was not found, the mass was a granuloma (which would have developed over a period of a few months). An initial grass seed had been gradually broken down by the body, but the bacteria and chronic reaction from the body to grass seed remained, creating the mass, associated bacteria and dead tissue which were successfully removed.

Rudy has recovered really well since surgery and is running around as fit as a fiddle. Grass seeds and other foreign bodies can cause many problems and prove to be dangerous to our beloved pets. We are so happy that Rudy has made a full recovery!