Sebastian the labrador has made an amazing recovery after a cancerous tumour the size of a RUGBY BALL was found in its chest.
The huge growth weighed 6.6lb (3kg) – a quarter of the pooch’s entire body weight – and was so big it was crushing the dog’s heart and lungs.
Owner Dave Badkin only found out when he took six-year-old Sebastian to the vet after his pet started coughing on his daily walk in Temple Newsam Park, near Leeds.
Hospital worker Dave, 54, of Leeds, said: “The vets thought it remarkable he was still alive with a tumour of that size inside him.
“We were aware of the risks of surgery but because Sebastian had fought so hard to survive against the odds, we felt we owed it to him to do everything possible for him.
“I only noticed something was wrong with him when we took him for a walk and he suddenly started retching but not bringing anything up.
“We took him to the vet and they took a CT scan which picked up this huge mass which was basically squashing his heart and major organs.
“The vet said it was so big there was only an inch of his lungs which could work. He was basically being slowly suffocated by it.”
Vets Ian Nicholson and Joachim Proot, of Calder Vets in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, removed the malignant tumour in an operation lasting six hours in May.
Incredibly, after just two days recuperation Sebastian was back on his paws and has since made a full recovery.
Mr Nicholson said: “Because of the size and weight of the tumour and its position pressing against Sebastian’s heart and lungs, this was a complex and potentially risky procedure, complicated by Sebastian ‘going blue’ whenever he was on his back.
“But everything went well and we’re delighted Sebastian has made a full recovery.”
Granddad Dave, who lives with wife Christine, 51, added: “It was a brilliant result. Better still, when the results of further tests came back they showed the cancer hadn’t spread so he is, to all intents and purposes, completely cured.
“I was shocked to learn about the size of the tumour. Looking at a rugby ball it’s hard to believe that something so big was inside him.”
Sebastian’s treatment cost £10,000 but was covered by pet insurance.