Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vet Costs and Photos

Photos of her tumor:

We've spent $1253.39 on this since March 6.

Do we have real concrete answers? No. Do we know what we're going to do? No. If we end up doing surgery for the bladder and the foot, it could add another $1300 to the total. It makes it even harder to decide since Scooter is almost 13 years old, has arthritis, cloudy eyes, and other lumps all over her body that we don't know about. But she appears to be healthy otherwise. I want to take care of her so she feels better.

The biopsy confirmed the tumor is malignant - a spindle cell tumor, slow growing, unlikely to spread, but likely to grow bigger. Quote for surgeries to remove tumor, toe amputation, and bladder surgery is $1600-$1700. I've consulted with the other vet at Del Ray (Dr. Mixon) and Brianna's vet friend Jen Pacey to discuss other options and opinions, but it's looking like surgery is the best option.

Latest Vet Visit

Scooter has been actually doing pretty well since the last post. She finished up her antibiotics and incontinence medicine (Ppa) a few weeks ago, and then I started her on Acidopholis and a herbal treatment for humans called Ultimate Urinary Cleanse. She is still taking Piroxicam once a day. I've also been giving her a little plain yogurt and flax seed with every meal. I took a urine sample in on May 16, and the results showed that she had no sign of red blood cells, although she did still have white blood cells and crystals. So there was some improvement but there are still signs of activity. The vet recommended I see an internal medicine specialist to get another diagnosis and she would fax over all her info including the sonogram and x-rays. I mentioned we never did x-rays for her, and she said we should do that before seeing the specialist.

So today I took her to the vet for x-rays and blood work/health profile ($200).
The blood work will show how healthy her organs are and if she would do well with surgery. Tom met me there. I was glad to have another ear to hear the vet. She said the x-ray looked like it could be an oxalate bladder stone. She wasn't 100% sure that's what it was because it appeared calcified or speckled, but it did appear in the middle of the bladder, where stones usually appear instead of the wall of the bladder, where tumors like to attach. A bladder stone can cause secondary infections like the UTIs she has been having since it irritates the walls of the bladder. From what I read, calcium oxalate stones cannot be made to dissolve over time by changing to a special diet (as can be done with struvite or uric acid bladder stones). Also, if they are left there, the urinary opening may obstruct as the dog attempts to pass the stones.

She recommended surgery to remove it, which they could do there, and it shouldn't be as complicated as a cancer case would be, or as expensive, but still about $900, which we could pay for in 2 payments. When/if she did the surgery, she would remove the mass and nothing else. It would then be sent to be biopsied. If it was just a stone, then that should solve her problems. If it ended up somehow being cancer, there wouldn't be much more we could do for her without spending thousands more dollars.

I also had her look at a mass on her back toe that just popped up recently. She said she could remove it at the same time as the bladder surgery, but if it ended up being cancerous, then she would want to amputate the whole toe, and not just the mass. She took a aspiration of it and looked at it under a microscope and said it was definitely a tumor. To find out it it was benign or malignant it would have to be send to a pathologist (another $150), which we did. That report will come back in 48 hours. The blood work in 24 hours. She has lumps and bumps all over her body now and who's to say they all aren't tumors? I didn't even have her look at the other bumps I've found.

She's going to give me a call tomorrow. So, now we have to figure out what to do depending on the results. We also would like to talk to a holistic vet they have at the practice to see what advice she could give.