WHEN Naomi Brigham’s best four-legged friend, Goatie, was struck down by a fast-growing cancer, she decided to do everything possible to save her.
This included paying for a $2500 one-way, 1376km flight from Cairns to Albany Creek’s Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre (BVSC) for rare cancer surgery.
BVSC oncology specialist Dr Rod Straw said it was the first time anyone he knew of had operated on a goat to remove a tumour in its mouth.
“It was a pretty unusual request … it’s certainly not something you see every day,” he said.
The list of unusual animals treated at BVSC includes six koalas, a bearded dragon and two cockatoos.
He said surgery on the beloved pet, named Goatie, was complex because she was a ruminant – a creature with more than one stomach – which would affect the way veterinary staff could provide anaesthetic.
“You’ve got to make sure the fluid from the last stomach does not flow out into the lungs (under anaesthetic).”
*This story has been amended. BVSC has not treated any Tasmanian Devils.