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Celebrating A Milestone for Crockett

Crockett is a 8 year old, Portuguese Water Dog who transferred to Atlantic Veterinary Internal Medicine and Oncology from Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic in July of 2017.

He was admitted to our facility for multiple enlarged lymph nodes, multiple masses in the liver and spleen, lethargy, loss of and poor appetite and diarrhea. He was fairly debilitated at the time of presentation. His diagnosis was consistent with intermediate cell lymphoma. Treatment options were discussed with the owners and the decision was made to start aggressive chemotherapy and Crockett was hospitalized for supportive care. Crockett’s prognosis was considered extremely guarded during hospitalization.

Despite poor odds, after a week of hospitalization,Crockett appeared to be slowly responding and he was sent home to continue with supportive care to see how he would do at home. Crockett came back in for a follow up visit and showed improvement in his clinical status and he has continued to make leaps and bounds throughout the rest of his chemotherapy treatments. He is an active dog and has continued to be so since throughout the rest of his treatments.

Crockett has been living his best life since undergoing treatment and his owners have been making the most of it, and overall happy with his progress. This is what the owners said when we requested pictures for this article. “Next week will be one year since diagnosis and we feel so blessed to have had such a good year with Crockett. This would not have been possible without your expertise and top-notch medical treatment– we appreciate you all so much! The Yellowstone photo is from earlier this month when we took Crockett out west. Yet, another milestone you helped us achieve. We always wanted to do this trip with him but we didn’t know if it would be possible. Thankfully, he came with us and had a wonderful time hiking and swimming.”

Giving Pets a Second Chance with Chemotherapy

Having a beloved pet be diagnosed with cancer is a painful blow. We know how stressful and scary these situations can be, which is why we do everything we can to comfort anxious owners and give their pets the kindest, highest-quality treatment possible. Every life is precious, and there is always hope that things will get better. Just ask Bart, one of our recent success stories!

Bart’s Story

Bart is an amazing boy who first came to see our team at AVIM&O in July of 2017 after being diagnosed with lymphoma. He and his mom were understandably nervous when they first came in, and now they are like part of the family. We soon started Bart on chemotherapy for his lymphoma, and he has never looked back!

Bart went into remission almost immediately and remains there today. He has tolerated his therapy very well, and has taken several trips with his family while on treatment. We celebrated Bart’s last chemotherapy treatment on Valentine’s Day and we couldn’t be happier for him and his family!

-Dr. Silver, DVM, DACVIM – Oncology

What You Should Know

We offer injectable and oral chemotherapy medications. Whichever one your pet receives will depend on their health history and the type of cancer they have. Please see our oncology and chemotherapy page.

If we recommend chemotherapy treatment for your pet, you may be comforted to know that chemotherapy causes fewer side effects in pets than it does in people. Your oncologist will be happy to address your concerns in more detail. Furthermore, you can expect nothing but support and understanding from our team as you and your pet begin this process.

Ectopic Ureters in dogs

The kidneys produce urine continuously and the tiny pipelines through which the urine is transported from the kidneys
to the bladder are the ureters (one for the left kidney and one for the right kidney). The bladder stores the urine until it
can be voluntarily unloaded.
Ectopic ureter(s) is a congenital error in the development of the ureter(s). Instead of connecting to the bladder, the
ureters connect directly to the urethra. The ureters are then bringing urine to an area that is unable to store urine and
leaking ensues. One or both ureters can be affected.

Ectopic ureter(s) are commonly diagnosed in puppies and mostly female dogs (female to male ratio: 20:1). Often
clinical signs include urine leaking/dribbling almost constantly or intermittently, discolored fur around the vulva.
Licking of the genital area (irritation from urine) and recurrent urinary tract infections.

Several diagnostic tools can be used to diagnosed ectopic ureter in dogs.
1. Abdominal ultrasound: The normal ureter is too small to be seen with ultrasound. If the ureter is distended,
it provides some clues that one may be dealing with an ectopic ureter. In female dogs, about 50% of the
dogs will have dilated ureter(s); in male dogs up to 80%. However, a lack of ureteral dilation does not
exclude the possibility of an ectopic ureter.
2. Cystoscopy: Cystoscopy is the diagnostic method of choice for the diagnosis of ectopic ureter in females
dogs (less so in male). Cystoscopy employs a tiny camera on the end of a probe which can be used inside
the urethra, vagina, or bladder to locate the ureteral openings. An advantage of cystoscopy is that laser
ablation (see below) can often be performed during the same anesthesia thus confirming and correcting the
problem all in one procedure.
3. CT scan: CT scanning is an excellent diagnostic method for the diagnosis of ectopic ureters especially in
male dogs. It is highly accurate and reveals the exact location of the ureter attachment. This form of imaging
also requires general anesthesia.

Several treatments are available for the correction of ectopic ureter(s).
1. Cystoscopy-assisted laser ablation: Cystoscopy-assisted laser ablation is a less invasive approach with less
incidence of post-operative incontinence when compared to surgery. Laser ablation is best used for
“intramural” ectopic ureters (most common type). These are ureters that start to enter the bladder where
they are supposed to but do not actually penetrate all the way in. Instead, they continue inside the bladder
wall and open up in the urethra. The laser will be used to cut/ablate the ectopic ureter (s) back into the
bladder. Most patients are able to leave the hospital within 12-24 hours after the procedure. Males typically
become urinary continent (80%) but some 40% of females ultimately require additional treatment to remain
continent.
2. Surgery: Surgery is recommended in cases where the ectopic ureter is considered “extramural” i.e. directly
attach to the urethra (i.e. no tunneling). Extramural ectopic ureters are rare (1%) and their path is often
determined at the time of the cystoscopy or CT scan.