Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre (BVSC + The Animal Hospital) recently helped a much-loved female Boer goat named Goatie overcome an oral cancer.
Goatie was flown from her rainforest home near Cairns, Qld, to Brisbane in the hope of removing a fast-growing oral cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) affecting the upper front of her mouth. Owner Naomi Brigham was determined to do ‘anything’ to ensure Goatie’s health – including booking her pet on a $2500 one-way flight.
“She has been my devoted friend since her mother died when she was two days old. Goatie is toilet trained, [is] much cleaner than a dog or cat due to her herbivorous diet, and sleeps on my bed,” Brigham said. “If it is raining on our daily walk she wears a raincoat. Goats are very spirited and individual. We share an amazing sympatico.”
Once Goatie arrived, the staff at BVSC + The Animal Hospital ran a CT scan that showed exactly where the tumour was. A chest and neck CT showed there was no evidence that the cancer had spread.
Being such a delicate operation, all care was taken to provide Goatie with all the pain relief possible using nerve blocks, opioid drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs and pain patches.
Rod Straw, oncology specialist at the Centre, carried out a successful two-hour procedure, the first of its kind on a goat. The tumour was removed in its entirety. Reconstruction was also successful, and Goatie began eating just hours after surgery – a relief, as she had to be fasted for 24 hours before anaesthesia.
With no complications, Goatie headed back to the rainforest, cancer-free.