The skills of a soft tissue surgeon at an award-winning Wakefield animal hospital were pushed to the limit when faced with removing a cancerous growth in an unusual position.

David Barker, soft tissue surgeon at Linnaeus-owned Paragon Veterinary Referrals, performed an orbitectomy and exenteration of the eye on a 14-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Dotty after a biopsy at the referral centre confirmed sarcoma.

Surgery involved cutting the zygoma, lacrimal nasal and frontal bones to remove the eye along with the bones surrounding it.

The operation was a success with clear margins obtained and no further treatment necessary.

David said: “The position of the mass was unusual and made surgical excision challenging.

“It was quite difficult to try to keep far away from the tumour without cutting through the important blood vessels that run within the skull.”

Dotty’s care at Paragon also included the ophthalmology, soft tissue and anaesthesia teams.

Sue Helm, Dotty’s owner who lives in Heywood in Lancashire, said: “We were extremely concerned for Dotty’s health, particularly given the fact it required extensive surgery and Dotty’s age.

“However, we were kept fully informed of the procedure and what was involved, and throughout  her recovery whilst in Paragon’s care.

“The fantastic news is that Dotty’s no longer in pain and is almost back to her old self. She’s adjusting well to having one eye, particularly now her whiskers are growing back.”

Paragon provides expert care in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery. 

For more information on Paragon Veterinary Referrals, visit or search for Paragon Veterinary Referrals on social media. 

Back to news