WHEN VETERINARIAN Bill Benson lifted a 19-pound tumor out of Daphne, a 33-pound basset hound, ''I suddenly knew how the surgeon felt who lifted a record 80-pound tumor out of the stomach of a woman in India. The thought did pop in my mind at the time,'' says Benson, who described the tumor as the size of two basketballs with a very thin membrane and filled with fluid.
The operation, with veterinarian Barbara Eidel assisting, took an hour and a half and was performed on Nov. 19 at the Reisterstown 24 Hour Veterinary Complex at 501 E. Main St. in Reisterstown, which Benson owns and where a staff of 26 keeps the hospital open daily around the clock.
''The tumor was on the ovary and although I knew that one could grow, I'd never seen one that large except in text books,'' he says.
He sent the tumor for a biopsy to the Roche Laboratories in North Carolina where it was diagnosed as a cystadenoma, a large benign cyst on the ovary. ''The pathologist there said he too had never seen one grow to this size, but he said it should not reoccur,'' says Benson who remembered.
''Just three weeks prior, I had done some dental work on the basset and at that time she seemed in perfect health with a normal size stomach,'' he says.
However, within two weeks, Daphne's stomach began to distend and her owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, thought that her 7-year-old basset was pregnant. In the next week, Daphne's stomach had distended so much she was taken to Benson.
Spaying was necessary along with removal of the tumor. Daphne went home in just two days and her concerned owner says she is fine and recuperating rapidly.
Benson does small-animal practice with four veterinarians. Regular hours for normal veterinary checkups and visits are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The number is 833-0500.
Benson says bassets do not have a predilection to such tumors. ''Any female who has ovaries can have such a tumor, and this includes horses, dogs and humans just like that lady in India,'' he says.
A Christmas party from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Humane Society of Baltimore County, 1601 Nicodemus Road in Reisterstown, is planned to help the animals. Everyone is welcome and those who attend may bring a donation to put under the Christmas tree, such as quality pet food, cat litter, old towels, pet toys and anything you think could be used for the animals. Refreshments will be served and homemade dog biscuits will be for sale. Details: 833-8848.