Last Fall, I took the mutt to see a an awesome veterinarian (Dr Cerf) who was able to zap the tumor in her bladder with a laser, and she has been peeing like a puppy since (a house trained puppy). The procedure is called UGELAB and it was not cheap, but we made it work with the help of my friendly credit card company and some savings. Yes it is not financially wise and all that, but neither is buying the more expensive car, going on an unaffordable vacation or buying too much crap on Amazon. This is America and foolish financial decisions are part of what makes the economy work :D Really though, the mutt is part of the family, and I could not let her go without trying - and did I mention the credit card reward points!
Fortunately I was able to get time off work when I did, since when she arrived at the clinic her bladder was almost fully blocked - if we had been anywhere else it would soon be time for a shunt. But the next day, after the procedure she was able to pee normally! I was amazed by Dr Cerf and his staff, great people who really care. Dr Cerf is a guy who pioneered this procedure when his patients were dying without much that could be done. They were able to de-bulk the tumor down to the walls of the bladder, and fortunately there was no tumor in her urethra.
Though financially stressful, and a tough choice to make, the difference is truly amazing. She has been back on chemotherapy since the procedure, so hopefully if there are any remnants of the tumor in the bladder wall, they will be kept in check for a while. She's a tough mutt with a lot of fight left in her.
One thing I feel I have to say, despite the cost, is there is value in this procedure - it is a lot of work (operation took several hours), and it takes a lot of investment in time (skill) and equipment, and requires several days of after care. The standard care for TCC is chemotherapy, but that only kept the tumor in check at best. UGELAB was the only option that could literally blow up the tumor and maybe reset the clock a bit on this cancer.
You can see in the pics above that she had a sizable tumor in the trigone region of the bladder before the procedure (left), and the after pic on the right side shows a small bump of hopefully scar tissue after she was healed up.
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