Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Scooter

I'm starting this blog mostly for myself to record Scooter's progress with this pain in the butt infection and mass in her bladder that may be cancer. For those that don't know Scooter, she is my 12 year old dog, who I have had since she was a puppy.

She has had recurrent Urinary tract infections (UTI) that responded in the past to antibiotics. This past infection involved a bit of incontinence and her licking herself a lot since it bothered her when urine would come out when she would lay down. I first took her to the vet March 6. Since then she has had 3 urinalysis’, 2 cultures, 2 ultrasounds, and been on several antibiotics (Zeniquin, Clavamox, then Ditrim). She was also prescribed an incontinence medicine (Ppa). The first ultrasound revealed a small mass inside her bladder. After a round of antibiotics, the second ultrasound showed the mass had gotten smaller, but the culture still showed her having an infection, so more antibiotics. The vet said she didn’t think it was a tumor, but perhaps just an inflamed or infected polyp. She didn’t mention anything about it being a stone. Her incontinence doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore. She isn’t licking much at all, and she seem overall pretty healthy and acts normal. The last urinalysis (4/14/08) shows that she still has an infection. I have already spent $850, and I still don’t know if it is even cancer or just a bad infection.

My vet is recommending I take my dog to a specialist to get a work up and another ultrasound for a possible surgery. The mass is located in an area that would be easy to operate on (end of bladder), but I don’t think I want to put her through surgery at this point in her life or spend the money (around $3000 for just surgery), plus chemo/radiation/meds if cancer. She said the most common cancer in the bladder is Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC), which is a very aggressive form of cancer, and from what I read, hard to get clean margins when operated on. If we went through the surgical treatment, there’s the chance it could come back if it was cancer. My vet also said a biopsy can only be done with surgery since a needle aspiration could possibly spread the cancer if that’s what it is. I got a quote from a vet specialist for a cystoscopy for $1200-$1500, which includes a biopsy which only identifies what the mass is.

My vet said if I don’t want to do surgery, then I should try Piroxicam for 2 weeks and then do another urinalysis. From what I know about Piroxicam, it is just an anti-inflammatory, but can shrink the mass. It is hard on the dog’s stomach so it should be taken with something to coat the stomach. She also recommended I do blood work for a health profile and to check the health of her kidneys, liver, etc. I asked about herbal/holistic treatments, which they have a vet on staff for, and she said we could have a consult with her as well, but said those treatments are pretty costly as well, more so than the Piroxicam. I have read good things about Graviola and PawPaw, herbal treatments which have shown to shrink cancer cells, with minimal side effects. I'm also thinking about giving her a supplement called Urinary Acidifier, which helps dogs who have recurrent UTIs.

So, it is frustrating because I don’t know for sure what it is (cancer or bad infection), so I don’t know what to do. I want to make a good choice. I think I'm going to just put her on the Piroxicam, and then maybe Paw Paw and the Urinary Acidifier, depending what my vet says when I call her back.

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