A chance visit to vet charity PDSA’s PetCheck tour in Hartlepool saved the life of a much-loved family pet when a “worrying growth” was discovered.

RVN Leanne Merrington with Laura Marshall and German shepherd dog Max.

Thankfully the vet nurse conducting the free pet health MoT identified a large swelling that could have proved deadly. 

Max, a German shepherd dog had been taken for a health check by Laura Marshall after she discovered the PDSA was in town.

RVN Leanne Merrington examined eight-year-old Max and found a worrying growth in his testicle.

She told Miss Marshall he needed to see a vet as soon as possible to get the lump fully investigated and explained there were a number of possibilities, one of which was that it was a tumour.

Fortunately, Miss Marshall and her father Michael qualified for free treatment with PDSA and an appointment for Max was made at PDSA’s pet hospital in Middlesbrough, where Max was found to have a testicular tumour, which needed immediate removal.

PDSA senior vet Drew Lonie said: “Testicular tumours can be very serious. If not removed the cancer can potentially spread to other parts of the body, and ultimately can be fatal.

“Thankfully, in Max’s case, we were able to remove the tumour early enough and he’s gone on to make a full recovery.”

Miss Marshall, 21, said she was extremely grateful to the PDSA. “Max means the world to the whole family, especially my dad who is deaf,” she said.

“Without the charity’s help we would have lost him. We’re so glad he’s back to his old self again.”

PDSA vets recommend neutering at an early age, as this helps to prevent serious diseases, such as testicular cancer in dogs. It also prevents pyometra in female dogs, in addition to reducing unwanted litters.

PDSA’s two custom-designed PetCheck vehicles have been donated and are named after benefactors Robert Breckman and his late wife Julie.

The PetCheck tour is visiting communities across Britain and was given a huge boost earlier this year when it received £600,000 from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

The veterinary nurses provide pet care advice and aim to improve pets’ lives by increasing owners’ understanding of their needs.

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