Wednesday, 5 May 2010


‘Cancer’ is a word that still strikes fear into us humans – even though there have been huge advances in surgical and medicinal treatments. It’s encouraging to know that this is also true in the veterinary world.

Last week a middle-aged Jack donkey was brought into the refuge in Marrakech with a huge swelling on its chest. The owner thought it was a blood blister, caused by some minor accident but investigation by our veterinary team showed it was a huge carcinoma. (We must be grateful for small mercies. At least the owner hadn’t tried anything horrific like burning it off with a red hot plough-share. Perhaps we’re getting somewhere).

He was anaesthetised in our new operating theatre and the tumour carefully and gently removed. As the tumour was sub-cutaneous, Dr Boubker (he of ‘Tommy’ fame) felt there was a very good chance.

As an anxious spectator, I was proud that we had the skills, and could offer such care.

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