Case of the Month "Billy"

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Google Maps location for Willunga Vet  Services

Willunga Vet Services
37 Main Rd
SA 5172

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8556 2075
8556 2654

Aldinga Vet Services
16 Heathersay Ave
Aldinga Beach
SA 5173

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8556 5498

Billy’s Skin Graft

Billy, a lovely Silky Terrier, saw us because of a rapidly growing lump on his left lower hind leg.  It was not painful and it was not worrying him, but his owner was very concerned it may have been something “nasty”

The vet placed a needle into the lump and took a sample from it.  Our nurses processed the sample by placing it into various staining solutions before the vet examined it under the microscope.

Five minutes later the vet had the diagnosis.  As it turned out, the owner’s fears were correct: The lump turned out to be a spindle cell cancer.

Spindle cell cancers usually grow slowly, although Billy’s was growing quickly.  The good thing for Billy is that they tend not to spread to other parts of the body until they have been present for a long time.  How fortunate Billy was to have such observant and caring owners!  The difficulty for the vet was that these cancers require to be cut out with large margins to make sure they are all removed.  Billy’s cancer was near the end of his leg, where there is very little spare skin.  How could the hole left behind be covered with skin?

With great skills by one of our Vet Surgeons, a skin flap was designed to cover the wound left behind.  The technical name for Billy’s skin flap is a “reverse saphenous skin flap”.  A strip of skin was made from the upper part of his leg, made into a tube and folded back on itself to cover the wound.  Confused?  Let the photos tell the story.

Billy is now fully recovered; lump (and hole) free.  Here are some photos before during and after his surgery.


Billy's cancer


The first incisions mapping out the flap


The incision has been closed and a tube made from the flap


The end of the tube has been spread open to cover the wound


Billy a few weeks later. What a clever dog, carrying a pencil around tucked under his flap! Can your dog do this?


Billy today a very happy boy!



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