Pet dog has sight saved by vets who removed two tumours and repaired his eye with a piece of his ear

A beloved pet dog had his sight saved by vets who removed two tumours from his eye before repairing the damage with a piece of his ear.

Miniature schnauzer Alfie was taken to his local practice by his worried owners after two growths began to appear on his right eye.

Miniature schnauzer Alfie was taken to his local practice in Ilkley by his worried owners after two growths began to appear on his right eye.

He was then referred to a specialist animal hospital over fears he could lose his sight unless he underwent immediate surgery.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Expert vets delicately carried out at the rare procedure to remove both tumours before incredibly repairing the eye using part of Alfie's ear.

They had to ensure the shape of the cartilage from the ear precisely matched the tissue removed from the eye before securing it in place with tiny, absorbable stitches.

Clinical director Chris Dixon, from Veterinary Vision, in Penrith, Cumbria, then found evidence of an additional tumour within the eye, which he was able to blast with a laser.

Alfie is now back home with owners Paul and Corrie Hardaker from Ilkley, following his “miraculous” treatment and recovery.

Corrie said: “Alfie had developed some worrying growths on his right eye so our local vet referred us to Veterinary Vision. From that point on, Alfie was clearly in the best of hands and received some miraculous care.

“The vets and nurses looked after Alfie so well on the day of surgery, and best of all Veterinary Vision managed to save the sight in Alfie’s affected right eye. We cannot praise their care and dedication highly enough and would enthusiastically recommend them to anyone whose beloved dog or cat has eye problems.”

Chris, an advanced practitioner in veterinary ophthalmology, said he was delighted with the outcome, especially considering the full extent of the surgery and reconstruction work required.

He said: “The prospect of removing and reconstructing the wall of a dog’s eye is always daunting, as there are a number of serious complications that can be encountered.

“A procedure of this complexity requires careful pre-operative planning and we used high-frequency ultrasonography to identify the surgical margins. Alfie’s operation then involved removal of the tumour and the insertion of cartilage harvested from his ear.

“The shape of the cartilage had to precisely match the excised tissue and was secured in position with very small absorbable sutures. Alfie had evidence of additional tumour development within the eye and this was destroyed with a laser during the same operation.

“This part of the procedure was technically challenging, with the laser coupled to a very small, high-definition video endoscope to directly examine the cancer. It is a marvel of modern technology that we have camera systems small enough to look inside the eye.

“Alfie was a fantastic patient and has made an excellent recovery, with minimal scar tissue. His sight has been preserved and he is now making the most of his vision. The whole Veterinary Vision team is thrilled that he has made such a complete recovery.”