Happy endings often have a history of starting out with rocky beginnings. Such was the case with a seven year-old, male dachshund named Low Rider. In February, 2012, Low Rider was a patient at a clinic in a neighboring town. Low Rider had suddenly started to lose weight and was beginning to lose his zest for life. He was having bowel movement issues that at the time seemed to reflect a waxing and waning constipation problem. The veterinarian that saw him felt that Low Riders diet might be causing his problem, so subsequently placed him on a bland diet along with some other meds. After several rechecks with this doctor, it was apparent that the course of action was not working as the weight loss continued.
Low Riders owner decided to get a second opinion from her childhood veterinarian in central Kansas. Low Riders condition was a mystery to this doctor as well. After much more owner concern over Low Riders continued decline, he went back to his regular vet in Nebraska. At this time, he was down to a very skinny, eight pounds. A different bland diet was tried to no avail. Daily phone calls to the clinic expressing concern over Low Riders gradual descent were met with unsuccessful suggestions on new ways to reverse his decline.
The owner was frustrated and at a loss of how to help Low Rider before it was too late. In February of 2013, exactly one year since this whole ordeal had started, the owner was referred to North Park Animal Hospital by one of our faithful clients for a third opinion. Low Riders history was reviewed and tests were performed to get to the bottom of his issue. Palpation revealed a mass in the back part of Low Riders abdomen. Radiographs confirmed the presence of a mass in the area of Low Riders colon. Barium passage studies showed a partial blockage in his colon. Low Riders problem was not going to go away without intervention.
Low Rider was then referred to Kansas State University for further diagnostics and possible surgery. Ultrasound confirmed our findings and surgery was recommended. Fortunately for Low Rider the cancerous mass involved the middle one-third of his colon, which allowed for removal of the cancer and re-connection of his colon. The mass was identified as a colonic adenocarcinoma. The cancer had not spread to the adjacent lymph nodes. Great news. After a week of recovery at the KSU Vet Hospital, Low Rider was released to his owner. He has made several trips to KSU for follow-up colonscopic exams as well as visits to us at North Park Animal Hospital to monitor his progress. At this point, Low Rider is cancer free and has gained all of his weight back, plus some. He now appears sleek, shiny and happy. Modern, veterinary medicine is a wonderful thing. It is rewarding and fun to be a part of it.
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