January 2017 Pet of the Month - Max

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From Dr. Harres:


            Our January pet of the month selection is Max Swisher, a handsome nine-year-old golden retriever that we have been taking care of since he was two months old. I chose Max as my pet of the month because he is a wonderful patient, with a caring, loving, and conscientious owner. He is a very active dog and from what we can tell, he enjoys going on runs with his owner, swimming, and playing outside. 

            Additionally, he has also endured some fairly unique medical situations. His first two years were relatively healthy and uneventful. We saw him for his routine wellness exams and vaccinations until early 2010 when he came to us with a pretty significant cough and general lethargy. Initially, he was treated out-patient for an upper respiratory infection. Max just wasn't responding as we would have expected. Although it is unusual for an otherwise healthy two-year-old dog, we eventually diagnosed him via examination and radio graphs with pneumonia. After a short hospitalization, and a change in medication, he did recover. 

            Over the next four or five years, we treated Max for an occasional ear infection, and he did have a few pesky ear hematomas. He was also diagnosed with borderline hypertension, secondary to emerging kidney disease. Overall, though, we just enjoyed his company whenever he would come to see us. He remained an excellent pet and a true companion to his owners.

            In July of 2016, he presented to us with a possible anal gland problem. Although it was initially suspected that he had an inflammatory/infectious problem, on recheck we found a small, irregular mass in one of his anal glands that raised suspicions. Unfortunately, the biopsy report indicated that he did have a malignancy in his anal gland. These particular types of tumors can be extremely aggressive. After some additional diagnostics and conversations with his owner, it was decided to pursue treatment for the cancer. These decisions are always very difficult. There are many factors that come into play. I have a particularly special place in my heart for Max because one of my dogs had the same type of cancer about ten years ago. Thankfully, up to this point Max is doing incredibly well. The treatment has been very effective without any significant side effects. We look forward to seeing Max here with his owner for years to come.


Matthew Harres DVM