I noticed my 14 year old bitch
squatting frequently and that her urine looked dark. Upon a
collection of urine, the urine looked orange colored, like
weak tea color. The urinalysis showed many transitional
cells, with abnormal cancer type appearance. The initial
diagnosis was Transitional Cell Carcinoma. Ultrasound
examination showed a large tumor located at the base or neck
of the bladder. Beagles have risk factor 4 times the normal
dog for this type cancer.
At this time "Baby" was eating
and acting normal. My vet recommended starting Piroxicam
therapy. Piroxicam is the drug "Feldene" and was initially
used as a arthritis drug in humans. The dosage for a dog has
to be calculated per weight and my vet had the prescription
for my beagle "compounded" (or specially made at a compounding
pharmacy). It was about 12.00 per month for treatment. The
drug can upset the stomach so I had to give it to her with the
evening feeding. It is given once a day everyday. Baby's tumor
was found in August 2003. In March 2004 a repeat Ultrasound
was done and dramatic reduction of tumor size was noted. (see
pictures) 2003 is the first one-see the round object. 2004 is
Baby lived until January
2005. I had 16 extra months with her due to drug treatment.
She was comfortable and eating well until the last few weeks.
I noticed a change in the color of her urine and her appetite
started decreasing. I cooked special goodies for her and feed
her as much as she would eat. Chicken, cat food, beef and
tuna was her favorite. Her final day started with her totally
refusing food. She still went outside and was carrying her
favorite toy. During the afternoon she started to look
depressed and she vomited a couple of times. She stopped
carrying her toy and was staying in her crate. The look in
her eyes told me she was starting to hurt and I had to say
good bye. Making the decision to euthanize a beloved pet is
difficult, but it is the last thing we can do for them, not
let them suffer. This page is for Baby...
Carcinoma (TCC) is the most common malignancy of the urinary
tract in dogs. Although the actual incidence is low, there has
been a 250% increase in cases over the past 10 years. TCC has
a poor prognosis because it is usually diagnosed when the
disease is quite advanced and therapy is less successful. Most
cases occur in dogs more than 7 years old. Females and
overweight dogs appear to be at higher risk. Usually there is
a high malignancy rate at time of diagnosis.
Diagnosis is complicated
by clinical signs which mimic urinary tract infections. Such
signs and symptoms include:
Hematuria - Brown color
or blood in the urine
Pollakiuria - Frequent urinations, usually in small amounts
Dysuria - Difficult or painful urination
Poor response to antibiotics
For detailed information
about TCC (diagnosis, treatment and prognosis) please visit
Purdue University's pages and information on current studies.
For an in-depth first hand
account of dealing with a dog with bladder cancer, additional
links, and more technical information visit this link.