AN elderly dog from Middlesbrough has had a new lease of life after undergoing a major operation to remove a two-kilogram growth on her side.

Margaret Hymas owner of Ruby, a 12-year-old whippet-lurcher cross, noticed a small lump on her side chest wall. She consulted White Cross Vets in Redcar, which began monitoring it.

Earlier this year, the growth suddenly started rapidly expanding and its size was making it difficult for Ruby to sleep and walk.

Despite Ruby’s age and an existing heart condition, they decided the best option would be to operate on the lump.The surgery involved a general anaesthetic to remove the mass which then required her to be stitched up and down the full length of her abdomen on one side. The operation proved successful and she is now making a good recovery.

Louisa Graham, Clinic Director at White Cross Vets, said: “Dogs often have lumps and cysts that are benign and don’t cause any problems, however some growths can suddenly change in shape and size and need removing. We also know that some lumps can be quite nasty and need addressing straight away. We had examined Ruby several times in recent months and had collectively decided not to operate on her due to her underlying health conditions, particularly whilst her growth wasn’t harming her.

“However, when it started expanding at an alarming rate, it was clearly making her uncomfortable, to the point where she was struggling to walk, so we had to take action. After considering a limited number of options, we went ahead with the operation to remove the mass, Ruby has done fantastically well considering her age and heart condition.”