By Dr. Donald Consla, Lead Wellness Veterinarian

This October, Nancy brought her sweet 8-year-old dog, Laila, to our Animal Wellness Center because she was urinating frequently, even during the night. Nancy was very familiar with Animal Friends, as she had previously spent some time as an employee in our Adoption and Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Departments.

In 2016, Nancy fell in love with Laila, a galgo (Spanish greyhound) while volunteering at Spain’s largest animal shelter, Scooby Protectora de Animales. Since it is difficult to find homes for Laila’s breed in Spain, many rescue groups work to find homes for them in other countries. Nancy and her husband have adopted three galgos, including Laila.

While Laila’s exam didn’t present any findings, her urinalysis confirmed a urinary tract infection. We used an ultrasound to assess the bladder and kidneys for an underlying cause of her symptoms and infection. Unfortunately, the ultrasound identified a mass. We started Laila on antibiotics to treat her infection and scheduled a follow-up appointment, where we performed the non-invasive CADET BRAF test to what type of tumor Laila had.

The test revealed that Laila has transitional cell carcinoma ­– the most common urinary bladder cancer in dogs. While we were disheartened to learn this diagnosis, the information also allowed us to develop Laila’s treatment plan. We started her on medication that is used as chemotherapy when treating certain tumors.

Three weeks later, Laila’s tumor had decreased in size. She was also urinating at a normal frequency and sleeping through the night. Her symptoms continued to improve after six weeks on the medication. We know there is not a cure for Laila’s condition, but we are thrilled that she is comfortable and spending quality time with her favorite people.

Laila loves serving as a galgo ambassador and raising awareness of the breed’s challenges. With early diagnosis, using tools like ultrasound and a sound treatment plan, Laila remains healthy enough to continue her mission. And, most importantly, she is happily spending her days at home with her family where she belongs.



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