An 11-year-old dog has bounced-back from an aggressive form of cancer to win at the world’s most prestigious dog show.
Nakura, a basenji, has been best in show and champion at a number of dog shows over the years.
But her family feared the worst when a trip to the vet revealed she had a massive tumour last year.
After surgery to remove the lump – which weighed almost a kilogram – Nakura made a full recovery, before going on to win in the Best Veteran Bitch class at Crufts.
Nakura’s owner, Victoria Miller, 37, has been overwhelmed by her dog’s recovery.
Victoria, from Oban, said: “She had to rest for the six weeks following the surgery – but she was desperate to get out and run about.
“Nakura has a bounce in her step and is like a new dog since the surgery – it’s been like having a puppy again.”
Victoria had no idea there was anything wrong with her pet until her husband picked her up and she yelped in pain.
She said: “The tumour came as such a shock to us, looking back her weight had probably dropped quite a bit – but at the time there didn’t seem to be any symptoms.”
The canine was taken to the out of hours vet in Oban before being referred to a surgery in Glasgow.
A scan revealed the mass had grown so large it was starting to drain the blood supply from from the pooch’s stomach, and was eating away at the fat layers of the stomach.
If left untreated, Nakura would likely have died within weeks, but the operation also presented risks due to her age.
She said: “We were given options because they didn’t know if they would be able to operate or not.
“Chances were she would only survive a couple of weeks.
“They could cut her open and discover they could do nothing and finish it there or take her home.
“Or they could open her up discover they could operate and everything was fine, so we went for it. It was worth taking the chance.
“It was a nervous couple of hours waiting.”
After the operation, Nakura was so keen to go home Victoria had to pick the dog up a day early.
She said she looked “really good” despite having gone through a major operation.
She added: “I thought she would be really unstable or maybe unable to walk but she was straight out wagging her tail.”
The old dog is continuing to thrive and Victoria has no plans to stop showing her yet.
She has won three more shows since having the operation.
She said: “She’s definitely got a few more competitions left in her – maybe even Crufts again next year.”
Dr Liz Welsh, from the Vets Now surgery in Glasgow, said: “Nakura was diagnosed with a large liver mass.
“It was so big it could be easily felt through her body wall and an ultrasound scan confirmed it was attached to the liver.
“It was removed at surgery and found to weigh just under a kilogram.
“She is a very brave dog and we are so proud of her for bouncing back and winning such a prestigious prize.”