Sensei’s story – pelvic limb lameness & soft tissue sarcoma

Labrador patient recovering following hemipelvectomy surgery

Sensei recovering in the wards following amputation and hemipelvectomy surgery on his left hind leg.

Sensei was presented to our orthopaedic and neurology hospital as an emergency and was seen by Surgical Resident Dr Diogo Miraldo. This was as a result of having experienced progressive left pelvic limb lameness, which his family said had started over the Christmas period.

On his initial assessment, Sensei was bright and alert but was completely non-weight-bearing on his left pelvic limb. Diogo noticed that he could feel a hard swelling behind Sensei’s left hip.

It was noticeable that Sensei was in discomfort and after discussions with Sensei’s family, it was decided that initial diagnostic tests needed to be carried out so the team could have a diagnosis.

These investigations took place the same day, and an MRI revealed the presence of a soft tissue mass, which seemed to arise from the sciatic nerve. Fine-needle aspirates of the mass were taken under ultrasound guidance. These produced too few cells to be conclusive, which raised the suspicion of a soft tissue sarcoma. Diogo discussed potential surgical options with Sensei’s family.

MRI scan showing a soft tissue mass the pelvis of a Labrador patient

An MRI scan revealed a soft tissue mass in Sensei’s pelvis.

Due to the diagnosis being of oncological nature, Sensei was transferred for treatment at our oncology and soft tissue hospital under the care of Dr Laurent Findji.

Sensei arrived at our oncology and soft tissue hospital and a full CT was performed for complete tumour staging before surgery. After reviewing the CT, Laurent recommended an amputation and hemipelvectomy, which Sensei’s family agreed to. Sensei underwent surgery the next day.

Sensei recovered incredibly well from surgery, and was walking around and wagging his tail within less than 24 hours of surgery! The team have sent off samples of the tumour and will await the results to determine whether any additional treatments will be needed. Sensei has now returned home to continue his recovery with his family.

Fitzpatrick Referrals