Labrador Saves Life of Vet After Headbutt Reveals Cancer

Labrador Saves Life of Vet After Headbutt Reveals Cancer
Labrador Saves Life of Vet After Headbutt Reveals Cancer

(Picture Credit: SeventyFour / Getty Images)

A veterinary nurse has said that a Labrador Retriever she was working with saved her life after head-butting her in the chest, Metro reports.

Angie Shaw, who works at Beechwood Vets, was helping the dog onto a table. But the pup knocked her over, causing a lump in her chest. After a week, the lump was still painful, so Shaw went to see her doctor. After going for scans and biopsies, it turned out that she had a fast-growing form of breast cancer.

A couple of weeks after her diagnosis, Shaw had surgery to remove the tumor. It had already grown a further two millimeters in that time. 

Headbutt Saves the Day

The initial lump was caused purely by the dog’s headbutt, and wasn’t related to the cancer. However, if she hadn’t gone to the doctor the cancer wouldn’t have shown up for another nine or ten months, at which point it would likely have been too late.

“That pet saved my life,” she said. “‘When we turned him over, he head-butted me by my left breast, towards my breastbone.

“‘A decent-sized lump appeared. I left it for a week, but it was sore, so I got a doctor’s appointment the next day.

“I thought it was a cyst. When I was told that I would have to have surgery, chemotherapy, and then radiotherapy, my whole world fell apart.”

Shaw needed six rounds of chemotherapy lasting 18 weeks, but is now cancer-free and has finished her treatment. 

Importance of Checking

She first qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2011, and is encouraging other people to routinely check for lumps as “early diagnosis is so important”. 

She continued: “I thought if I could save one person’s life by encouraging them to get lumps checked, that’s my job done”.

Louise Mallinson, the clinical director of Beechwood Vets, described Shaw as an “incredibly brave” person.

“The way Angie has tackled her cancer diagnosis and treatment has been absolutely inspirational,” she continued. “Angie is fantastic with both our patients and clients, and we’re very lucky to have her as part of the team.

“We are all incredibly proud of her and couldn’t be happier that she has been given the all-clear.”

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