UC Davis Performs First 3D Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy in Veterinary Medicine

Louie, an 8-year-old male Boston terrier, was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease by his primary veterinarian. Cushing’s disease causes a dog’s adrenal glands to produce too much cortisol, a chemical that controls many aspects of a dog’s body, including its weight, its ability to fight infections, maintain blood sugar levels, and many other vital functions. In Louie, the Cushing’s disease was caused by a tumor in his right adrenal gland. His primary veterinarians referred Louie to the Soft Tissue Surgery Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for surgical removal of his right adrenal gland.

Third Opinion on Cancer Diagnosis Offers Life Saving Options

In 2015, Izzie, a 6-year-old female yellow Labrador retriever, was a typical active Lab. She loved playing ball, chasing birds, and swimming. When her owners, Morgan and George Birdsong, noticed a tumor growing on her head, they immediately took her to their veterinarian. After diagnosing it as a mast cell tumor, Izzie’s primary veterinarian and a second opinion both offered palliative care as the best option, not giving her very long to live. At this point, Izzie’s tumor had grown to the size of a tennis ball.

Surgery and Chemotherapy Utilized to Avoid Amputation of Dog’s Paw

When Violet, 2-year-old female French bulldog, was rescued by Alyssa Sterns, she had already been through more health problems than any young dog should. Overbred by a breeder, Violet developed hip dysplasia and had undergone surgery on both hips. Now, she developed a mast cell tumor on the paw of her left hind limb. Violet’s veterinarian informed Sterns that the tumor would be difficult to remove without amputating the paw, which was not ideal given her hip problems. So, Sterns took Violet to the UC Davis veterinary hospital for a second opinion.

Successful Clinical Trial Added Years to Dog’s Life

Jack the Shih Tzu was 7 years old when he traveled from Ontario, Canada to the UC Davis veterinary hospital in 2015. Given a cancer diagnosis with only a few months to live and with limited immediate treatment options, Jack’s family started a frantic search for help elsewhere. The search was a quick one, though, as one of the first items that appeared in their online hunt was a first-of-its-kind clinical trial at UC Davis to treat his exact condition.