Our Blog

July 2018
09: House-training your puppy
June 2018
21: Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer
14: Happy 10th Anniversary, Westbridge Veterinary Hospital
April 2018
18: Congratulations friends of dogs and cats everywhere!
February 2018
28: Parasite Prevention
January 2018
11: Dental disease is a real and serious issue
November 2017
01: Thank you for your support in the 2017 October Farley Foundation Fundraiser!
October 2017
03: Prizes and pie for our annual Farley Foundation Fundraiser!
September 2017
13: Keetah's Story
11: September is Cancer Awareness Month
August 2017
10: What's that smell?!
July 2017
27: Clicker Training
24: Our Commitment to a Low Stress Environment
13: The threat of rabies in southwestern Ontario
07: Wildlife in the city
June 2017
21: Lyme Disease
March 2017
06: The Value Of Education
January 2017
17: 33 years of practice, the changes I have witnessed
November 2016
28: 2016's October Farley Foundation Fundraiser was a huge success!
September 2016
20: Cajun's story
01: September is Cancer Awareness Month
July 2016
21: Cat Carriers
June 2016
29: Dog Park Etiquette
May 2016
31: Heartworm Q & A
12: Tick Troubles
March 2016
10: Anticipated tick bloom
February 2016
22: Introduction to TCVM – Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
January 2016
14: The difference dental care can make
December 2015
30: Raccoon Rabies reported in Hamilton, Ontario
08: Understanding Aging
November 2015
25: Our new, state of the art, Ultrasound machine
October 2015
09: Fun and Delicious Fundraising for the Farley Foundation
September 2015
23: Cancer Awareness Month: Texas' Story
14: September is Cancer Awareness Month
July 2015
28: Exciting news for our hospital!
June 2015
11: Mosquito Prevention
May 2015
08: Heartworm cases
April 2015
24: Changing your pet's food
March 2015
01: Veterinary Technician Specialties in Dentistry!
January 2015
13: January and February are Dental Education Months!
December 2014
18: The Internet at its Best
November 2014
28: Westbridge's Change of Hours
October 2014
07: October is Farley Month - Spa Day's, Paw Prints and Pies!
September 2014
22: Cancer Awareness Month - Ruby's Story
20: September is Cancer Awareness Month!
02: Ways to a Happy, Healthier Pet
July 2014
03: A New Way to Save Your Pet's Teeth!
June 2014
26: Veterinary Dentistry in San Diego!
March 2014
20: Happy Smiles
January 2014
22: The 15 Steps to Your Pet's Dental Cleaning!
15: January and February are Dental Months, and We Have a Contest to Celebrate!
09: Baby Teeth in Puppies and Kittens
06: An Update on Dr. Hylands
December 2013
27: Dentistry in New Orleans!
17: Wishing Dr. Hylands a Safe and Uneventful Recovery
13: The Holidays are Here!
04: A Potential Mandible Fracture - A Tale on Missing Teeth
October 2013
10: Fundraising for Farley
July 2013
11: Tried and True, For Humans Too!
June 2013
20: Therapeutic Laser's Beneficial Effects on Arthritis
12: Pet Education Day and Open House a Huge Success!
May 2013
25: 5th Annual Pet Education Day and Open House!
April 2013
29: We've Brought 'Light' into our Clinic!
March 2013
10: We're Constantly Learning!
February 2013
21: Small Dogs Require Big Dental Care!
08: Missing Teeth in Your Pets - Should You Be Worried?
January 2013
13: Periodontal (Dental) Disease in our Pets
December 2012
19: Senior Month - It's Not Just Old Age!
04: Senior Month - A Focus on Kidney Disease
November 2012
15: Farley Month a Huge Success!
October 2012
27: Possessive Aggression in our Dogs
22: Thinking of Breeding Your Dog? Here Are Some Things To Consider First
03: October is Farley Month!
September 2012
20: Litter Boxes - Everyone's Favourite Task!
August 2012
14: Exercising Your Pets in the Summer - Heat Stroke
June 2012
28: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasound Case Study
21: A Heartfelt "Thank You" for Attending our Pet Education Carnival!
19: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasonography
May 2012
23: A Logical Approach to Unwanted Barking
07: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use in Companion Animals
April 2012
21: Wellness Examinations Help to Maintain Your Pets Health
10: OVC Pet Trust Animal Cancer Centre Needs Your Help!
01: Heartworm Disease in Ontario
March 2012
19: A Dedication to a Great Man and an Dedicated Veterinarian
February 2012
06: Why Anesthesia-Free Dental Care is Wrong, Cruel, and Medically Inappropriate
January 2012
16: The Why's and What's of Dental X-ray
09: Cats Are a Unique Species, with Unique Dental Disease
05: Six Easy Steps to Brushing your Pets Teeth!
02: Dental Awareness Months!
December 2011
21: Chocolate... Good for you?
November 2011
11: Farley Month was a Huge Success!

Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasound Case Study

Posted: 2012-06-28

Bear is a lovely 5 year old neutered male Husky cross that acutely developed diarrhea containing significant amounts of blood. At the time, our office was unfortunately closed, and he visited a local emergency hospital. Other than being slightly dehydrated, with minor changes on his full blood profile, his physical examination was normal. Abdominal radiographs (x-rays) were therefore performed at this time, to rule out an intestinal blockage or other obvious causes. Radiographs demonstrated some mild gas dilation of the colon, with no other abnormal findings or evidence of obstruction. Because of the dehydration and low protein levels on his blood profile, he was hospitalized on intravenous fluids and antibiotics for presumed IBD (irritable bowel disease) or gastrointestinal upset. Bear improved on medications and IV fluids, with some improvement in the diarrhea and a more normal appetite. He was therefore discharged from hospital to continue on oral medications.

Bear presented to Westbridge the next morning for an abdominal ultrasound, as due to the extent of the hemorrhagic stool, a more exact final diagnosis was desired. Despite improving on supportive medications, and the radiographs showing no abnormal findings, the ultrasound revealed a large mass in the middle portion of his small intestine. See the images below:

Colour doppler ultrasound image of canine small intestine with large intramural mass. Image 1: Ultrasound image using colour doppler to demonstrate the vascularity (blood flow) in the tumor – the arrow points to blood vessels. This helps with surgical planning, to anticipate the amount of blood loss and the number of vessels that may have to be ligated. The transparent dots represent the outline of the tumor.







Ultrasound image of canine small intestinal tumor. Image 2: Ultrasound image similar to the one above, without colour doppler. This shows a different angle of the large intestinal tumor.










Dynamic flow image of canine small intestine with intramural mass. Image 3: Compare the dotted outline on the left (tumor) to the dotted outline on the right (normal loop of intestine).










Image 4: Ultrasound image showing a normal portion of intestine just in front of the tumor. This portion is significantly dilated with partially digested food, as it is having difficulty getting past the tumor. The dots outline the loop of intestine, and the arrow points to the food matter.







Image 5: Ultrasound image of the spleen, outlined by transparent dots. The arrow points to an abnormal growth on the spleen (the darker oval). This would be sampled during surgery, to ensure it was not of concern.








Ultrasound image of the canine spleen with power doppler. Image 6: Ultrasound image of the spleen, similar to above, with power doppler showing normal blood flow (the coloured orange area).










Because of the invasiveness of the intestinal tumor, the progressing bloody diarrhea, and his inability to eat, surgical exploration of the tumor was performed. In surgery, precisely as visualized by ultrasound, a large mass was found in the small intestine.

Intestinal leiomyosarcoma in a 5 year old Husky cross. Image 7: With the small intestine exteriorized, the tumor was very evident, as illustrated by the black arrow. Normal intestine is seen on either side of the tumor.










The tumor was removed in its entirety, along with three inches of normal intestine on either side to ensure that microscopic tumor cells were not left in the abdomen. The two sides of intestine were then sutured together – this procedure is called an anastamosis.

An intestinal anastamosis was performed, removing the tumor and 3 inches of normal intestine on either side. Image 8: Here you can see the portion of small intestine, including the tumor, that was removed.











Leiomyosarcoma incised to visualize small intestinal attachment. Image 9: Once outside of the abdomen, the tumor was cut in half to visualize its attachment to normal intestine..










The lesion on the spleen was inspected surgically, and turned out to be a completely benign area of extramedullary hematopoiesis – an area where red blood cells are being produced outside of bone marrow. Because of the large amount of blood lost through persistent hemorrhagic diarrhea, he required a blood transfusion after surgery to bring his red blood cell levels back to normal. By the next day, Bear was eating, bright, and active, with a completely normal blood count. Within two weeks, he was completely back to his normal self, eating, gaining weight, with completely normal bowel movements.

The section of intestine that was removed was sent to the lab for review by a pathologist. It came back as an uncommon tumor called an intestinal leiomyosarcoma. They are locally destructive and frequently cause obstruction. The reported metastatic rate (chance of spreading elsewhere in the body), when tumours are examined based on location, is 12% for jejunal masses – the lowest rate for this particular tumor. This was great news for Bear, as his tumor was located in the jejunum (the middle portion of the small intestine).


This blog entry was written by Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, an animal clinic in Mississauga dedicated to providing high quality, modern veterinary care to our beloved pets and their families.

Bookmark and Share