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Tumour size of rugby ball in poodle.

Peppi the poodle was recovering yesterday after having a tumour the size of a rugby ball removed from her abdomen.

The growth, weighing a third of the poodle's body weight at two kilogrammes (4.5 Ibs) was only discovered when Peppi's owner took her to the vet after she went off her food.

Catherine Moorcroft from Willenhall in the Black Country, who has had ten-year-old Peppi since she was a puppy, said: 'She had stopped eating and I noticed swelling on her stomach so I took her to the vet's to be checked out.

'I thought it was something simple at first and left in a flood of tears when I was told she had a serious heart murmur.

'To learn she had a tumour was devastating. I thought she was going to die and was preparing my two kids for the worst.

'I've grown up with Peppi, she is part of the family and the kids were crying too when they heard.

'I was shocked to learn how big the tumour was, looking at a rugby ball it's hard to believe that something that big fitted inside of her.'

During an operation that lasted an hour and a half, PDSA vet Tim Browning managed to remove the tumour which was a third of the size of Peppi.

He said: 'The heart murmur was discovered on the initial examination but it wasn't until that we carried out exploratory surgery that the tumour was found.

'We knew from the swelling that something was dramatically wrong. But I was shocked at the size of the tumour in such a small dog.

'In 25 years, this was the only operation I have had to carry out like this because the tumour was one third her size it was the largest tumour I have ever come across in my experience.

'To operate on any tumour that size is risky, but with Peppi's heart murmurs and given her age, the operation was very high risk.' He added the Wolverhampton PDSA that treated Peppi was a charity that treats about 110 sick or injured pets every day, providing free treatment for pets of owners who are unable to afford private vet's fees.

Catherine said: 'Peppi's treatment came to around pounds 1,000 altogether and the cost of her medication is on-going.

I wouldn't have been able to afford that so I would have had to make the heartbreaking decision as to what to do with her.

'I begged my mum to buy me her when I was ten, so I would have been devastated if I had have lost her.

'She was a rescue dog, her old owners mistreated her and she had a gash in her leg when she came to live with us, but with our love and attention she became a lively and happy dog.'

She added: 'Its wonderful to see her back to her old self.'

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Catherine Moorcroft with her dog Peppi
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 21, 2004
Words:492
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