A West Highland Terrier dog has had a lung removed in a life-saving operation, after an enormous cancerous tumour was discovered by vets near Hitchin.

The first signs that 12-year-old Joey was seriously ill was when he suffered a coughing bout which lasted more than an hour-and-a-half and required an emergency vet to help him.

Joey had a coughing fit for an hour-and-a-half before the tumour was discovered.Joey had a coughing fit for an hour-and-a-half before the tumour was discovered. (Image: Davies Veterinary Specialists)

Joey’s owners Steve and Jill Catley said: "Only eight weeks previously, Joey had climbed to the top of Arthur’s Seat which overlooks Edinburgh.

"When we found out he had a mass on his right lung we were devastated, obviously thinking the worst. We thought that was it – that we would be losing our boy."

A CT scan at Davies Veterinary Specialists near Hitchin, where Joey has also received treatment for diabetes, Cushing’s disease and cataracts, unfortunately confirmed he had an extremely large tumour filling almost his entire right lung.

The tumour almost filled his entire right lung.The tumour almost filled his entire right lung. (Image: Davies Veterinary Specialists)

Joey’s operation was performed by soft tissue surgeon Krizia Compagnone.

Krizia said: "The mass was massive and occupied almost fully the right lung. It’s very uncommon to perform removal of a whole lung and it is a very challenging operation.

"Joey was managed extremely well by the whole team. His condition and the surgery he needed meant that a multidisciplinary team effort, also including oncology, was necessary for the outcome we had."

Following the successful surgery, Steve and Jill, and daughters Amy and Charlotte, added: "Joey is doing really well. He’s a bit slower, his walks are a bit shorter and he’s a bit more obstinate and grumpy, but he can still give the cats of the street a good chase given half a chance!

"We honestly can’t thank Krizia and her team enough."

Krizia added: "Joey had an outstanding recovery from such a big surgery. He is a real little fighter and has been a proper champion throughout.

"Unfortunately, the tumour we removed was malignant and had spread to the local lymph nodes.

"However, we are so glad we could give him some more quality time to spend with his beautiful family, who love him so incredibly much."