Mitch is a 7 year old Labrador cross who was referred to Dr Philippa Gemmell for acupuncture due to a painful and wasted foreleg. Mitch was unable to use his forelimb and had to hold it up to avoid tripping on it. He had been to a referral specialist when the problem first occurred over 12 months earlier. X-rays and an MRI were performed but no cause was found as to why he could not use his leg.
His quality of life was diminishing and his pain was significant. It was elected that Mitch have his leg amputated.
Mitch underwent major surgery and he recovered well. He was walking around in less than 24 hours. During the surgery a tumour was discovered between Mitch's shoulder blade (scapula) and chest wall in the main fore-arm nerves and this was removed. The laboratory diagnosed a malignant tumour of the nerves. Lymph nodes surrounding the tumour were also affected.