A great story in dog health, a 7 year old yellow Labrador retriever named Makana, was diagnosed with bilateral adrenal cancer. Adrenal cancer is a difficult cancer for small animals. The adrenal gland is closely to vena canva, the largest vein in the abdomen as well as the renal arteries and veins (to the kidneys), the aorta, and other vital structures. As the image shows the proximity of the cancerous tumor made it difficult. Bilateral tumors are rare in dogs, and bilateral laparoscopic adrenalectomy is very rarely performed, but UC Davis had worked on these surgeries the most.
An laparoscopic adrenalectomy is a small keyhole,minimally invasive surgery that helps the patient, reducing post surgery problems as well as being less painful. UC Davis’s soft tissue surgeons Drs. Philip Mayhew, Michele Steffey, Bill Culp, Michelle Giuffrida and Ingrid Balsa are the ones researching and improving laparoscopic adrenalectomy.
When Makana came in to UC Davis, the surgeons from Soft Tissue Surgery Service had to cooperate Internal Medicine Service to prepare a plan on to handle this dangerous surgery, though UC Davis has experience in with these surgeries. Anesthesia/Critical Patient Care Service monitored her throughout the surgery, as Dr. Mayhew, along with Dr. Jeremy Fleming. Dr. Mayhew used 4 keyhole ports on her left and 3 on her right, Makana was stable and recovered. Makana recovered from the surgery, 3 days of hospitalization as well as showing positive signs both 2 and 4 week check ups. When she returned, she was welcomed home by a Chiweenie named Sammy and three cats Dixon, Winston and Quincy.
Now that Makana has her adrenals out she cannot produce the needed hormone, corticosteroids, for daily life, such as gut health, or mineralocorticoids, which are essential for maintaining the body’s electrolyte and water balances.
Makana is now considered with Addison’s disease. Dogs with the disease shows lethargy, excess urination and thirst, loss of appetite, vomiting/diarrhea, low blood pressure, dehydration, and muscle weakness. Most dangerous is when the potassium is too high and the sodium is low, heart issues will occur. Makana will take daily pills and monthly injections, as long as she has those she will live a full life.
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About the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis—a unit of the #1 world ranked School of Veterinary Medicine—provides state-of-the-art clinical care while serving as the primary clinical teaching experience for DVM students and post graduate veterinarian residents. The VMTH treats more than 50,000 animals a year, ranging from cats and dogs to horses, cows and exotic species. To learn more about the VMTH, please go to www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth. Timely news updates can be received on its Facebook (www.facebook.com/ucdavisvetmed) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ucdavisvetmed) pages.
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