Ten-year-old Maltese Cooper doesn’t like to do things by halves.  After initially presenting to the Narre Warren Vets for lameness, it was suggested that he return after a medication trial for further investigation of not only his pain, but also his heart, enlarged lymph nodes and his teeth!  Upon his return, radiographs were performed confirming that he had ruptured his cruciate ligament in his right hind leg whilst also confirming that Cooper’s heart appeared to be showing signs of early cardiomegaly.  Cardiomegaly refers to an enlarged heart, often indicative of underlying cardiac disease or dysfunction.  A blood test was also recommended due to his age and elevations found last year, his results indicating a significant change in his liver enzymes suggesting severe hepatocellular (liver) disease.  Based on these results, Dr. Susi also performed an abdominal ultrasound incidentally discovering a mucocele present on his gall bladder!  A gall bladder mucocele is a condition characterised by the accumulation of thickened mucus within the gall bladder, potentially leading to obstruction of bile flow, inflammation, and in severe cases, rupture, often associated with breed predispositions and metabolic factors. Cooper the Maltese

After ascertaining that his owners wanted to do everything possible to address Cooper’s most pressing issues at a specialty level, Dr Susi referred them to the internal medicine department at PenVet for further workup and possible surgery for his gall bladder to be removed, as well as investigation into the underlying cause of some of his more serious health concerns.

Cooper received his life-saving surgery which included removing his gall bladder AND spleen (due to concerning splenic nodules being found) whilst also having biopsies taken of his liver due to his liver enzymes being off scale.  After a short stay in hospital to recover from his major surgery, Cooper bounced back incredibly well and was very happy to be home with his owners.  Since then, he has visited the team at Narre Warren for his rechecks, proving that he is one little fighter.  We are pleased to report that his splenic pathology came back as benign and that his liver parameters should hopefully normalise in time, however they will need to be closely monitored for ongoing signs of liver disease.  Cooper deserves a medal for holding up so well through such an extensive amount of veterinary treatment, and though his journey with us isn’t over (he will begin medications for his heart and we still need to fix that pesky leg of his!), we are sure that with his fighting spirit and wonderful family, he will continue to battle through whatever life throws at him.  Well done Cooper!