Case Study: Buster's Story

Case Study: Buster's Story
09 March 2020
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We were recently contacted by Buster’s owners to celebrate his amazing recovery one year down the road from removing a large and aggressive kidney tumour, read his story here.

Buster was referred to the Langford Vets Small Animal Referral Hospital at 7 years of age for investigation of inappetence and weight loss. He was evaluated by our medicine team and found to be underweight, with a firm grapefruit-sized lump palpable in his abdomen and an ulcer (damage) on the surface of his right eye.

Blood and urine tests were performed to evaluate for signs of inflammation, kidney damage or other possible causes of his inappetence and weight loss, prior to an anaesthetic for a CT scan, to further evaluate the lump that had been palpated in his abdomen. The CT scan showed a large tumour in the location of the left kidney, with no normal kidney tissue remaining, and evidence that the tumour had spread into the large blood vessels near the kidney and was extending towards the heart. Despite the local aggressive spread of the tumour, there was no evidence of metastasis (distant tumour spread) on further detailed scans. After reviewing the scans, our specialist radiology department used an ultrasound scanner to guide a needle into the tumour, collecting a sample of cells; these were evaluated on-site, by our dedicated clinical pathology team and raised concerns that this was a renal carcinoma (an aggressive kidney cancer).

(Left: Transverse CT slice showing the abnormal, cancerous kidney) (Right: Transverse CT slice showing the normal kidney)

The optimal treatment option for a renal carcinoma is surgery to remove the tumour, although finding the spread of cancer into the local blood vessels is very concerning, as this makes surgery a lot more complicated. However, Buster’s owners were keen to give him every chance of a good outcome and elected to proceed with surgery. Our Soft Tissue Surgery Team were able to successfully remove the tumour, Buster made a speedy recovery and was able to go home 4 days later.

Boxers are prone to eye ulcers and having noted Buster’s eye ulcer on arrival, during his time with us, he also benefited from diamond burr debridement of his ulcer to enable this to heal.

It is cases like these, where patients are able to benefit from our truly multidisciplinary approach, that enable us to provide the highest level of care and range of treatment options. Buster’s case had input from all of the following on-site specialist services, during his time with us: Internal Medicine, Ophthalmology, Anaesthesia, Diagnostic Imaging, Clinical Pathology, Soft Tissue Surgery and Emergency and Critical Care.