A dog lover from Wales has told how she staged a ten-hour vigil in a vets’ car park as her Border Collie underwent surgery to remove a life-threatening tumour.

Helen Doyle, a nurse from Mold in Flintshire, had seen scans of the cancerous tumour which was growing behind her pet Paddy’s right eye and realised his life was in the balance.

So she waited anxiously all day outside Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Runcorn, Cheshire while top vet Krizia Compagnone operated on seven-year-old Paddy, as COVID-19 restrictions meant she couldn’t wait inside.

Helen said: “I had every confidence in Krizia but, being a nurse, I knew exactly how serious this was and exactly what could go wrong.

“It was an extremely dramatic situation and an extremely traumatic time so I just sat outside in my car from 8.10am until 6.20pm waiting for news.”

It was well worth the wait with Krizia’s expert care saving the day - and Paddy’s life.

A grateful Helen added: “I owe her a million thanks. Without a shadow of doubt, it was Krizia’s professional expertise that has saved him.

“She was fantastic throughout and is one amazing lady. There are some people that you are immediately drawn to and trust straightaway - that’s Krizia.

“I can’t thank her enough for her outstanding work. Her people skills are absolutely phenomenal.

“She was honest and direct; she was clinical and professional and she communicated everything so easily and clearly that I totally trusted her right from the start.”

Krizia, a resident in small animal surgery who joined the Linnaeus-owned animal hospital in 2019, is delighted with Paddy’s remarkable recovery but admits it was a demanding case and a very difficult operation.

She said: “The location of the tumour was very challenging as it involved most of the right side of Paddy’s face and to give him the best possible chance it was important to try to get ‘clear margins’ around the tumour.

“This was very difficult to do while retaining all the important structures of the face and unfortunately we had to remove Paddy’s right eye along with the tumour because they were so close together.

“By removing the eye, we also achieved extra margins during the excision, which helped reduced the risk of leaving any of the tumour behind.

“The right zygomatic salivary gland, which lay just below the eye, was also removed for the same reason. In this way we could remove the tumour at the same time, increasing the chances of a successful out-come.

“It was an unusual surgery and quite challenging but we achieved the clean margins we wanted around the tumour and Paddy has recovered remarkably well.”

Paddy’s successful surgery was followed by a course of chemotherapy led by Northwest’s oncology specialist Jessica Grant and again the outcome was a success.

“The entire team at Northwest was wonderful, especially Jessica Grant who handled Paddy’s chemotherapy treatment after the surgery. I’d recommend them to all animal lovers,” added Helen.

“If you could see Paddy running around in the field with the other dogs you wouldn’t believe he’d lost an eye and almost lost his life.”

Northwest Veterinary Specialists is based in Ashville Point, Sutton Weaver, Runcorn and offers multi-disciplinary care in anaesthesia and analgesia, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, orthopaedic surgery, soft tissue surgery and veterinary physiotherapy.

For more information, visit www.nwspecialists.com or search for Northwest Veterinary Specialists on social media.

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