Meet Spy

Meet Spy, a 10 year old collie dog who is lucky to be alive thanks to a kind member of the public and the exceptional care of the StreetVet team.

Spy had a lump growing on his back legs, either side of his tail. His owner thought that Spy had cancer and that there was nothing he could do to save his “best mate”. As luck would have it a passer-by stopped and talked to Spy’s homeless owner and when he found out that Spy was unwell he passed on the details of StreetVet. As is common for many people facing homelessness, Spy’s owner didn’t have a mobile phone so the passer-by kindly offered to phone StreetVet himself and act as a go-between. There wasn’t a StreetVet clinic locally, but Veterinary Surgeon, Jade Statt didn’t let this stop her and arranged a time to come and visit Spy where his owner was sheltering on the street. 

Jade gave the border collie a thorough examination and found that Spy was struggling to pass stools, had matted, soiled fur around his back end and was understandably nervous of having this area handled. A gentle internal examination gave Jade the diagnosis- a perineal hernia. This occurs when abdominal or pelvic organs herniate through a separation in the muscles of the pelvis, becoming trapped. Often, the herniated tissue is fat which can easily be replaced, but occasionally vital organs such as the bladder can get trapped, a serious life-threatening complication. 

Jade broke the news to Spy’s owner that his faithful dog didn’t have cancer, but he did need urgent surgery to repair a perineal hernia. On the day of the surgery, despite being in a lot of pain, Spy jumped into Jade’s car, trusting that he would be in good hands. Jade was joined at a local veterinary practice who offered up their facilities for free by three volunteer veterinary nurses and specialist soft tissue surgeon, Nick Bacon who also kindly volunteered his time to operate on Spy on the last Sunday of November. When the hernia was opened up, everyone was alarmed to see that Spy’s bladder, prostate and part of his colon were all trapped within the hernia. It dawned on everyone that Spy would not have survived without surgery that day. 

Thankfully the surgery was a success! The team were able to repair the hernia and also castrate Spy as high testosterone levels predispose dogs to this condition. To top off the day, that evening Spy was reunited with his loving owner not at their spot on the street, but with a roof over their heads in shared accommodation.