A stricken Cockapoo is now cock-a-hoop after Specialist-led ophthalmology treatment.
Seven-year-old Bertie’s ordeal began in January 2022 when a growth appeared on the lower eyelid of his left eye. Six months later, there were multiple large growths, known as squamous papillomas, across the whole of his lower eyelid.
Bertie was referred to us, where Ophthalmology Specialist Andra-Elena Enache devised a solution to his suffering.
Andra, an RCVS and European Veterinary Specialist in Ophthalmology, explained: “Initially, there was only a single mass on the lower lid which was first discovered in January.
This was excised at Bertie’s local primary care veterinary practice in February but, unfortunately, by April three more masses had developed on the lower lid.
By the time Bertie was referred to us at the end of June, the whole of his lower lid was affected by multiple large papillomas.
I met with colleagues in our dermatology, oncology and surgery departments to discuss the medical and surgical options including cryotherapy, immunotherapy or a surgical resection, followed by reconstruction of the eyelid.
Another surgical excision would have involved removing the whole of the lower eyelid this time and replacing it with a muco-cutaneous graft such as lip-to-lid with a risk of graft failure, retraction, infection and recurrence of the papillomas.
In the end, we opted to put Bertie on two, 10-day courses of a medication called azithromycin, which was administered orally, along with a topical lubrication.
This treatment option was first reported in 2008 in the Veterinary Dermatology Journal which stated that a small number of dogs affected by oral and cutaneous papillomatosis had responded well to the treatment.”
It proved an inspired move by the multi-disciplinary NDSR team, with Bertie making a remarkably quick recovery after so many months of torment.
Andra added: “There is not much out there on palpebral papillomas so we could not anticipate the response to this treatment.
Happily, though, the masses started to reduce in size after just two weeks and were barely noticeable one month after treatment.”
Bertie’s delighted owner Tina Mayhew, from New Malden, Surrey, was full of praise for the North Downs team but admits it was a troubling time.
She said: “We don’t know what caused the problem and we were worried he would need extensive surgery but thankfully Andra at North Downs suggested medication as an alternative.
We were pleased to try it as we had been very concerned about the speed of growth and the irritation and distress it was causing Bertie.
It had all happened so fast. At the start of the year, we noticed he had a growth on his lower eyelid, which got bigger very quickly. We went to our local vet who operated to remove the growth.
Within a month, it had grown back and others started to grow on the same eyelid. They grew very quickly and started obstructing his vision and irritating him.
Our local vet then referred him to NDSR where Bertie received excellent care and treatment from Andra and the team. The growths have completely disappeared and he is healthy and well again.”
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