What started out as a fun walk through the woods for Barley ended up being a scary event for both her and her mom, Monte.  Although Barley had some stomach upset the night before, she wasn’t going to be left behind for a walk that day.  As she and her mom explored, Barley became weak and unsteady on her feet.  After a few minutes, she completely collapsed.

Monte was understandably panicked.  She racked her brain to think of the nearest veterinarian.  Fortunately, she remembered Dr. Young at WNC Veterinary Hospital was close.  On the way, she noticed a swelling on Barley’s muzzle.  When she arrived, she and the doctor suspected a bee sting was causing a severe anaphylactic reaction.  After a careful exam, Dr. Young was suspicious of the sounds he heard in the chest, so he decided to take an x-ray.

While Barley probably did get stung by a bee, what they saw on the x-ray surprised everyone.  A prominent mass was visible in one of the lobes of her right lung.  Masses that look like that on x-rays are often cancer, so the finding was bad news.

Monte brought Barley to REACH/Asheville Veterinary Specialists to have more advanced testing done.  They wanted to rule out other problems before considering surgery.  Dr. Levine, a board certified internal medicine specialist, did several tests.  When she determined that Barley was a good candidate for surgery, she suggested that Dr. Wood, the specialty surgeon, perform the operation.  Dr. Levine told Monte, “If she stays here for surgery, I can follow her progress through to recovery.  I would like to be here for her through the entire process.” Dr. Levine’s sincere interest in the case helped Monte make the decision to keep Barley at REACH for the surgery and recovery.

Barley had her surgery on July 8th.  The procedure went well, and her recovery has been excellent.  You can see her stylish post-surgical t-shirt in the picture.  The pathology report shows that there has been no spread of the cancer, and her prognosis is really good! Barley can thank the bee who stung her because without that episode, her tumor may have been detected much later.  Now we have another reason to love our local bees.