October 24th, 2006, 10:27 PM
I think I put my first post in the worng section. :sorry:
Anyway, My name is Brian. I came on this site several weeks ago to discuss my 2yr old Baby Bassett Mona, who has recently been diagnosed with renal Carcinoma. She is scheduled to have surgery next Monday at Veterinary Referral Surgical Practice by a Dr. Thomas Noone D.V.M.,D.A.C.V.S. I am absolutely scared out of my mind and was hoping someone here could tell me that they have heard of kidney removal in Bassetts being a successful surgery. The strange thing that keeps the Doctors scratching there head is that her blood work is completely normal and she has not been sick a minute since her first day on July 5th, 2006. Advice Please !!!!
October 24th, 2006, 11:20 PM
I'm sorry for the diagnosis. I don't have anything constructive to add, but I wanted to wish you luck. :fingerscr
October 25th, 2006, 01:50 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about Mona. :grouphug: Is it possible there could have been an error with her bloodwork? She just seems so young for this. :sad:
I have no idea about that surgery but I wish you luck and fingers crossed for little Mona. :fingerscr :fingerscr
October 25th, 2006, 12:32 PM
So sorry to hear about Baby Basset Mona. I don't have any experience with renal carcinoma, but I do know of a setter that suffered from renal failure at a very early age (I think she was 4 months)--she's still alive and doing well after a kidney transplant from her litter sister. Both dogs are doing very well with one functioning kidney each and both weathered the surgery well.
Is just one of Mona's kidneys involved?
:fingerscr :pray: for a great outcome!
October 25th, 2006, 06:25 PM
I do understand the worries, I had lost one greyhound to osteosarcoma(bone cancer), 3 months later my vet deciding we should x--ray my other greyhound as his abdominal region looked abnormal and the result were a very enlarged spleen, my vet did did give me the worst case senario that is could be an agressive mass cell type of cancer if so the prognosis was not good , or a slower growing type or maybe nothing , we decided first to do a needle aspirate which was done on 3 areas of the the spleen with no signs of cancer cells, but that did not mean it was not for sure cancer free, it could just mean the needle was ijust nserted in non diseased areas of the spleen, so the next step was to do an ultrasound, which views the spleen from several angles, if any areas of the spleen appeared spongy looking then the next step would have been surgery to remove and then examine, fortunately the ultrasound showed only healthy looking tissue, again it did not totally rule out , so over the next couple of years we xrayed every few months looking for any change of size or shape before finally declaring him cancer free. A dog can live without a spleen, but surgeries cause a lot of bleeding since the spleen is a storage area for new blood and is designed to try to replenish blood in the event of serious injury to keep the blood pressure up, so it is a very messy surgery that requires transfusions and can also be very risky some dogs simply do not survive the surgery, and with out it does create added problems should dog have a serious injury or require some other surgery down the road, so the vet wanted to avoid surgery if at all possible, so at this point 2 1/2 years later he stilll has his enlarged spleen and every thing is fine, but the waiting and recomparing x-ray after x-ray did have me going bonkers not knowing fore sure whether he had cancer or not. So it was quite the relief after 2 years of testing to be finally told the spleeb for whatever reason is simply huge but there is absolutely no cancer involved or some change would have been seen.
Myself I had a grapefruit sized cancerous tumor removed from my abdomen 24 1/2 years ago, since it was removed intact no further treatment was needed, my brother's cancer surgery was 20 years ago he did require chemo later went on to have 2 healthy children and we are both still cancer free. With both of us testing was required for the next 3 years before being deemed cancer free the same applies in veterinary medicine
I am guessing that in Mona's case at least an x-ray was done and something appears very wrong with one of the kidneys, so the easiest way to check for sure is to remove the bad looking one and send it away for testing , dogs have 2 kidneys and like humans can live with just one.
Was any tissue removed from Mona's kidney thru a needle aspirate and tested to confirm that it is definitely cancer???
If not and with the bloodtests looking good there is a chance that the kidney is simply abnormally developed and may not even be cancerous possibly a birth defect, but the surgery to remove is the fastest way to know what really is going on, but the vet just needs to prepare you for the worst case senario in the meantime, even if the one does have cancer, it gives the vets the opportunity to see directly inside the abdominal cavity to see if it has spread to other areas or not, which then would tell them if they got it all or if further treatment would be needed, if Mona is to have a chance of beating it, removal and testing would also tell them the type of cancer they are dealing with some forms are very slow growing and do not mestasize that easily so the prognosis with removal and treatment can be quite good whereas others are very aggressive and harder to treat.
Since you did say bloodtests were not showing up anything and you did not mention how the vets came to the conclusion that it is renal carcinoma, I thought I would would bring up my own experiences. to let you know sometimes it is not always as bad as it seems and that if cancer was determined by imagery alone, there is a chance they could be wrong and even if cancer is definitely present, then more will be learned from the surgery and possibly a 100% cure can be achieved, Once all the results are in from the surgery they will be able to tell you the outcome, if further treatment is recommend and the prognosis for longterm survival, If it is cancer you would be referred to an veterinary onocologist to explain everytihing , my recommendation is to take a pen and writing pad with you to write down what is explained, it is pretty overwhelming as emotions are running high so can be very, very difficult to remember everything afterward that was said and explained.
On your pad you can also prepare a list of questions to ask
Here is a sample list
If financial worries is a big concern
I would suggest asking the vets you are involved with if any clinical research trials exist for for bassets with cancers also check with breed clubs to see if they know of any, there are also studies based on certain forms of cancers or where the form of cancer is located ex saquamous cell cancer of the skin, so some studies are not breed specific. This can help tremendously with some of the costs as treatment can often be free to participants
For example Michigan state university is doing cancer research trials on greyhounds though they are also studying osteo in other breeds, they offer free cancer counselling, if you registered a greyhound with cancer into their clinical trials they will provide some of the latest chemo drugs at no charge to your vet oncologist, the local oncologist then reports symptom progress or results to the place doing the trial at the same time you have some of the worlds best vets involved in you pets care and you get access to the newest drugs available and even some old standbys. There are different requirement depending on the place doing the study some require that you live in a certain distance. There involves looking at different chemo drugs including trying to find some that are less cost prohibitive, the cost of some treatment is one of the main reasons why many pet owners do not go ahead with chemo, One of the current drug treatment they are finding fairly good success with is less than $200 a treatment, some of the current chemo treatment are runnning around $2000, they are also experimenting with injectable chemo treatments for skin cancers rather than the standard intervenous treatments which impacts the entire body
If your vets does not know of any.
Try contacting Michigan State university http://cvm.msu.edu/vth/cco/index.htm even if you cannot go to them they may know where research is occuring near you
Morris Animal Foundation help to sponsors many cancer studies so may also be a source to find out where studies are taking place
http://www.animalci.com/sarcoma.php in this one they may want to have access to the diseased tissue so something to discuss with the vet even before surgery, I did not read the details
Also contact the closest veterinary university or college they may know where a trial clinic exists or what types of cancers/breeds may apply.
With luck you may find something that can help if needed
I pray that all goes well with Mona's surgery and that just maybe some of the info I provide can be of help to you