Golden retriever Teddy's peachy again after cancer scare

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A dog owner has spoken of her mixed emotions as her treasured pet’s life hung in the balance.

Sara Crawford, from Wimbledon, said she was “devastated” when local vets told her an unexplained mass in her golden retriever’s stomach could be cancer.

As a result, 11-year-old Teddy was quickly referred to Linnaeus-owned North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR) in Bletchingley, Surrey, where a detailed scan revealed the mass was in fact not a tumour but a peach stone!

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Sara’s immediate relief was soon tempered, though, by the news the stone was causing a complete bowel obstruction. Teddy needed urgent life-saving surgery to remove it.

Teddy underwent lifesaving treatment at NDSRTeddy underwent lifesaving treatment at NDSR
Teddy underwent lifesaving treatment at NDSR

Thankfully, the experts at NDSR were able to rapidly, and successfully, carry out the lifesaving surgery, with Teddy going on to make a full recovery.

However, Sara explained just what a tense and traumatic time the whole experience was.

She explained: “Teddy is a much beloved family dog and I was devastated when my local vet told me a mass on Teddy's abdomen was likely to be cancer.

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“When we were referred to NDSR I was just hopeful it would be shown to be something else.

The recovered peach stone.The recovered peach stone.
The recovered peach stone.

“The medical team there were very professional and prompt in diagnosing Teddy. He had arrived in a very poorly state but their rapid diagnosis and intervention has saved my dog's life and I will be forever grateful.

“First, they performed a detailed ultrasound scan and discovered that Teddy did not have a cancer but did have an object stuck in his intestine. I was very relieved to say the least!

“Then I was told he needed immediate life-saving surgery to remove the trapped peach stone from his intestine, with the specialists performing the operation on the very same day.

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“Thankfully, Teddy came home three days later and has been recovering very well. He is back to himself with a crazy appetite, but I am not buying peaches for a very long time!”

NDSR’s hospital director and renowned European and RCVS veterinary oncology specialist Gerry Polton said it was an evolving case, which saw a suspected cancer become a race against time to remove a life-threatening foreign object.

Gerry explained: “The peach stone was completely blocking his small intestine and causing a marked distension of Teddy’s bowel upstream from this.

“He was immediately prepared for surgery and our Head of Soft Tissue Surgery, specialist Benito de la Puerta, removed the peach stone on the same day as Teddy had been admitted.

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“Benito also had to exercise his expert judgement to decide whether some of Teddy’s bowel needed to be removed where it had sustained damage because of the peach stone.

“Ultimately, he chose to preserve the injured bowel and this has proved to be the right decision, as Teddy has made a fabulous recovery considering how poorly he had been and how compromised his bowel was because of the complete obstruction.

“Teddy’s referring vet made exactly the right decision in referring him when they did. Another 24 hours would probably have proved fatal.”

A grateful Sara added: “It was very stressful time but became a great and happy story in the end.

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“I would definitely recommend NDSR to other pet owners. The vets are extremely knowledgeable, have a lot of experience and treat the animals, and owners, with empathy and compassion.”

NDSR offers specialist-led services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery. 

For more information, visit or search for North Downs Specialist Referrals on social media. 

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