POSTED: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 9:04am
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WGNO-CNN) — 12-year-old Annie is a healthy, normal dog. That is, except for the growing mass inside her lung.
At Southeast Veterinary Specialists, Dr. Rose Lemarie uses an ultrasound to see if the tumor is primary, or if it's spread.
"So what we're doing is just gonna take a little tour around Annie's abdomen and look for any signs of a tumor or something that could be growing in here that might cause spread to the chest," explains Dr. Lemarie.
Earlier this year, a Youtube video of cancer-stricken Lennox went viral as millions watched the boxer eat an epic last meal, before his owner had him put to sleep.
However, Dr. Lemarie says the prognosis for Annie is much better.
"Most of the time when we see metastatic spread, we see multiple nodules in the chest and we don't see that in Annie's case. And also, this is such a big nodule and seems to be confined to one lung lobe and that's characteristic of a primary lung tumor or a tumor that started there and didn't start somewhere else."
The surgery for Annie is invasive. First Dr. Lemarie will pry open her ribs, then she can take out the mass.
"What we will actually do is go in through the 5th or 6th rib space and actually spread the ribs with a surgical instrument and then staple out the lung lobe with a thoracic stapler."
For an invasive surgery, however, Dr. Lemarie says Annie should recovery well. She'll be sore for a couple days and may need to follow up with chemotherapy, but if all goes as planned, Annie will soon be cancer-free and back to her normal, healthy self.