It is with very mixed emotions that I write this post.
As of April 10th I will retire as the President of STRSE after 11 + years serving. STRSE has been a major part of my life and has provided me the opportunity to know many of you and the pure joy when each Scottie is placed in a loving home.
As many of you know we are dealing with a serious illness with my step daughter and it requires a great deal of our time and energy. We also have the wonderful joy happening in May with my step son’s upcoming marriage. Add to that the aging of one and the illness of one of my Scotties and (yes, I must be honest) and of myself I find I just do not have the energy that I have had in the past. So this is the season in my life for me to retire.
God has provided me with so many wonderful partners in this rescue. I am so very grateful to so many of you that have volunteered for all the tasks needed to rescue and then re-home these dogs with wonderful families. This was a hard decision for me to make but I feel it is the right one.
We have a strong STRSE board and very dedicated volunteers to continue this rescue ministry. Lisa Mann has agreed to head this organization and she has the time, the passion and the leadership skills to keep this rescue thriving. Sue Levins (VP), Debbie Kleer (secretary) and Sandra Howser (treasurer) will continue on the board and will provide the leadership that is needed with an organization that covers four states. Val Aldred is a dedicated communications volunteer as well. I will continue to stay involved with Scottie rescue and will remain on the board for at least one year to offer advice and counsel as needed.
We will organize a little differently and have designated state coordinators. Tracy Pizzi has agreed to take the position of NC coordinator and we welcome her to this position. Tracy has been a devoted volunteer for many years. Lisa Mann will continue covering SC, Sue Levins was named the Georgia coordinator last fall and Debbie Kleer will continue as Florida coordinator. These ladies are your contacts for all rescue concerns. I thank each of them from the bottom of my heart for their tireless service.
I look forward to continue my relationships with this wonderful rescue group and with all of you. It is my prayer that each of you will continue to volunteer and support this organization. Thank you again for making these years a joy and for all you do.
Mary Lou Kuklentz
Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) is the most common cancerous condition affecting the urinary tract of dogs. Scottish Terriers top the list in terms of breed predisposition.
What is TCC?
TCC is a malignant tumor that most commonly grows within the urinary bladder. It also frequents the urethra, the tube-like structure that drains urine from the bladder to the outside world. TCC can also arise within the prostate gland (males), kidneys, and ureters (the long, narrow tubes that transport urine from the kidneys into the bladder).
TCC arises from transitional epithelial cells that line the inner surface of the urinary tract. In addition to growing inward within the lumen of the bladder and/or urethra, the cancer cells invade locally into the walls of these structures. TCC cells also have the ability to metastasize (spread) to lymph nodes and other distant organs.
This cancerous growth has a propensity for growing within the trigone region of the bladder, the anatomical area where urinary tract plumbing is most complicated. It is here that the urethra and ureters connect into the bladder. It’s no wonder that TCC commonly causes a dog to experience difficulty urinating and, sometimes, even complete urinary tract obstruction.
Causes of TCC
Genetic predisposition and environmental factors likely play a role in most cases of TCC. The genetic basis is strongly suspected because Scottish Terriers have as much as an 18-20 fold higher risk for this disease. Other predisposed breeds include, Shetland Sheepdogs, Beagles, West Highland White Terriers, and Wire Hair Fox Terriers.
Environmental factors that have been incriminated as risk factors for TCC are application of older generation pesticides and insecticides to the animal and exposure to lawn herbicides and pesticides. A study comparing 83 Scottish Terriers with TCC and 83 similarly aged, normal Scotties discovered that the group with cancer had greater exposure to lawns and gardens treated with insecticides and herbicides or herbicides alone. The effect of lawn and garden chemicals on other breeds has not yet been studied.
Smoking is the number one cause of TCC in people. It is not known if exposure to second hand smoke contributes to the occurrence of TCC in dogs.
Symptoms of TCC
The earliest symptoms caused by TCC vary from mild to severe, and often resemble those caused by a urinary tract infection. Such symptoms include:
- Increased frequency of urination
- Blood within the urine
- Straining to urinate
- Inability to urinate
Straining to have a bowel movement may be observed if the prostate gland becomes enlarged due to infiltration with TCC cells. When a dog becomes completely unable to urinate due to obstruction, systemic symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, and loss of appetite will arise within 24 hours.
Diagnosis of TCC
TCC is suspected when a mass within the bladder is detected by an imaging study such as abdominal ultrasound. Growth of TCC within the urethra is best detected via endoscopy (a fiberoptic telescope device that allows visualization within the urinary tract).
Collection of tissue samples from the mass that are then processed and examined under the microscope is the only way to make a definitive diagnosis of TCC. Such tissue samples can be collected via surgery or endoscopy, and sometimes by urinary tract catheterization.
Many dogs with TCC have a concurrent urinary tract infection, and a urine culture is performed to determine if antibiotic therapy is warranted.
Once TCC has been diagnosed, “staging tests” may be performed. Staging is the process used to determine if the tumor has spread to other sites in the body. Staging is warranted when the additional information these tests provide are important for providing ongoing care. The results of staging tests assist in:
- Determining the prognosis.
- Choosing the most appropriate course of treatment.
- Establishing a baseline set of tumor measurements that will help determine if subsequent treatment is successful.
- Anticipating which future symptoms may arise.
Staging tests for dogs with TCC may include:
- Blood and urine testing
- Radiographs (x-rays) of the chest cavity to look for spread to the lungs and/or lymph nodes
- Ultrasound of the abdomen to assess changes in the kidneys caused by possible obstruction to urine flow and spread of cancer to abdominal organs and/or lymph nodes
There are several options for treating TCC in dogs. Complete remission (complete elimination) of this cancer is always desirable, but this outcome tends to be the exception rather than the rule. Partial remission (reduction in the overall size of the tumor) and simply arresting growth of the tumor over a prolonged period are far more likely outcomes that usually result in restoring and maintaining an excellent quality of life.
For dogs with TCC that has not spread outside of the bladder, complete surgical removal of the mass is the ideal therapy. Unfortunately, even for a highly gifted surgeon, this outcome usually isn’t possible. This is because TCC has a predilection for growing within the trigone region (neck of the bladder) where aggressive surgery would disrupt the delicate urethral and ureteral plumbing located there. Surgical removal works well when the TCC growth is relatively small and is located well away from the trigone.
The medical options described below tend to be extremely well tolerated by most dogs. These drugs may be used individually, but it is not unusual for them to be used in combination to treat dogs with TCC.
Piroxicam is an oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication that substantially reduces the size of many TCC tumors. Piroxicam and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Previcox) are referred to as cyclooxygenase (cox) inhibitors. It so happens that TCC cells often produce and use cyclooxygenase, and inhibition of this enzyme can hinder tumor growth.
Piroxicam’s ability to influence the growth of cancer cells was discovered spuriously when the drug was being used to provide pain relief for dogs with cancer. Unexpected cancer remissions were observed. This resulted in a study of 34 dogs with TCC who were treated with piroxicam. The results were as follows:
- Complete remission (cancer fully gone): 2 dogs
- Partial remission (cancer reduced in size): 4 dogs
- Stable disease (no change in cancer size): 18 dogs
- Cancer increased in size: 10 dogs
- Average survival time: 181 days
A chemotherapy drug called mitoxantrone has also been used to successfully treat TCC. A study of 48 dogs treated with the combination of piroxicam and mitaxantrone was performed by theVeterinary Cooperative Oncology Group. Results included:
- Complete remission: 1 dog
- Partial remission: 16 dogs
- Stable disease: 22 dogs
- Cancer increased in size: 9 dogs
- Average survival time from start of therapy: 250-300 days
A third drug for the treatment of TCC is vinblastine. This drug is typically used following failure of the other drugs mentioned above. A study using vinblastine to treat 28 dogs with TCC resulted in:
- Partial remission: 10 dogs
- Stable disease: 14 dogs
- Cancer increased in size: 4 dogs
- Average survival time from first vinblastine treatment: 147 days
- Average survival time from the time of diagnosis: 299 days
Metronomic chemotherapy refers to long term, low dose, frequent oral administration of a
Chemotherapy drug. Metronomic therapy is given with hopes of blocking the formation of new blood vessels within the tumor, thereby inhibiting its growth. This is referred to as an “anti-angiogenic” effect.
A study of metronomic therapy for TCC was performed using a drug called chlorambucil (Leukeran). Of the 31 dogs studied, 29 had failed prior TCC treatment. The results are as follows:
- Partial remission: 1 dog
- Stable disease: 20 dogs
- Progressive disease: 9 dogs
- Lost to followup: 1 dog
- Average survival time from start of therapy: 221 days
Radiation therapy is an option for control of TCC growth. Unfortunately, applied in suitable dosages, radiation therapy often produces harmful complications affecting the bladder and surrounding organs.
Follow Speaking For Spot on FB, Twitter:
or visit the website:
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine study on Atypical Cushings.
They need samples from Scotties who either have normal or elevated ALP/serum alkaline. They are seeking blood samples from 200 Scotties. At the current time they have less than 20 Scotties for each type. Please consider enrolling your Scottie in this study.
See below for further information:
ATYPICAL CUSHINGS RESEARCH STUDY
Researchers at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine are seeking to unlock the mystery of elevated liver enzymes in Scotties. With your help, they can move closer to stamping out atypical Cushing’s disease in the breed. They’re currently seeking blood samples from 200 Scotties. Clinically healthy (i.e. asymptomatic) Scotties with elevated or normal ALP/serum alkaline phosphatase are needed. They will provide $25 compensation if ALP/Bilirubin testing has been done within the past six months or free ALP/Bilirubin test results if it has not. The only things required for participation are a small blood sample and a bit of paperwork.
- Scottish Terriers (unregistered or registered), intact or spayed/neutered
- Between the ages of 4 and 10 years
- Not receiving oral or topical glucocorticoids or anti-seizure medications within the past 3 months
Please check the study website for detailed information on enrollment and eligibility: http://www.vetmed.vt.edu/clinical-trials/current-studies/scottish-terriers-hac.asp
or call Mindy Quigley 540-231-1363.
Mark Your Calendars!
We’re having another Wine & Design Paint Your Pet Event!
Charlotte, NC & surrounding areas
February 8, 2015
1:00pm to 4:00pm
We’ve scheduled another Paint Your Pet Event with Wine & Design in Charlotte NC. The fee is $60.00 with proceeds going to Scottish Terrier Rescue of the Southeast. You send them a picture of your pet & they transfer it to canvas for you to paint. You don’t have to be a painter as the W&D staff are very helpful & will guide you through each step. We’ve participated in several of these events and always have so much fun. This will be our first for 2015. What a great way to get a painting of your pet & by your own hand. All are welcome so sign up as soon as possible as seating is very limited & bring a friend!
Follow the link to reserve your spot & we hope to see you there!
Charlotte Wine and Design
1419 East Boulevard Suite J | Charlotte, NC 28203
Happy New Year dear friends of Scottish Terrier Rescue of the Southeast. We are going to start an auction to benefit the many Scotties that will need our help in 2015.
As most of you know 2014 was a year of many Scotties with enormous vet bills. We here at STRSE count on generous supporters like you to assist us in the vet care of these less fortunate little ones. We will post specific details on several of the Scotties that now have a wonderful and pampered life because they were rescued from sometimes horrible situations and sometimes situations where the family just could not keep the dog any longer. The adoption fee rarely equals or even comes close to the vet bills for many of the dogs we have cared for.
The auction will be from January 9 through January 11. You may start posting items on January 1.
Thank you for all the support that you have given us in the past. And thank you for the supporting this auction. Feel free to call or email me if you have any questions:
MaryLou Kuklentz, 704 597 5647, email@example.com
We greatly appreciate all you do to assist us in saving the lives of these Scotties.
This is a photo of Lacy, one of our 2014 rescues. You can read her story & learn more about this auction on our STRSE auction site:
We are saddened to announce the following losses to our cause & to everyone who knew them:
The Scottish Terrier Rescue of the Southeast volunteers are saddened to learn of the passing of one of our staunchest supporters, Beth Ealing of Sarasota, FL.
Beth was the proprietor of Max’s Dog Bakery and shared her home and heart with two Scotties, Pippen and Mac Jagger.
Our deepest sympathy is extended to Beth’s parents, brother, sister, extended family and friends. Scottish Terrier Rescue of the Southeast thanks all who have made memorial contributions in her name.
Please keep Beth’s family in your thoughts & prayers.
It is with heavy heart that STRSE has recently lost yet another of our valued volunteers & supporters, Debra Diana Basile of Jupiter, FL.
Debra passed away Sunday August 24, 2014 unexpectedly. She was President of Everglades Terrier Club and a huge supporter of Scottish Terrier Rescue of the Southeast. She is survived by family and her beloved dogs Riley, Bogie and Rex.
A memorial service is to be held for family and friends at Taylor & Modeen Funeral Home, 250 Center St, Jupiter FL 33458 on Saturday September 6, 2014 at 11:00am.
Memorials may be made to the Scottish Terrier Club of America Health Trust
19250 Readis Way, Prunedale California 93907
Scottish Terrier Rescue of the Southeast http://scottiesoutheast.org/ via PayPal or mailed directly to STRSE c/o Sandra Howser Treasurer, 1842 Park Grove Place NW Concord, NC 28027
Please keep Debra’s family & friends in your thoughts & prayers
Meet Bunny Rebecca! Her new parents Howard and Karen contacted us in Florida about a year ago after loosing their precious Scottie Ann. They weren’t sure if they were ready so we put their application on hold for awhile.
Well along came beautiful Bunny that needed a new home where their were no other dogs. She was surrendered by her owner due to health reasons and had very little socialization for most of her life. She needed a new devoted family that could introduce her to a big wide world and Howard and Karen were just the ticket. They saw her pictures and heard her story and it was the perfect match at the perfect time.
She has settled in just fine as you can see from her happy expression and is enjoying walks around the neighborhood, playing with toys and lots of love. Many thanks to Dawn for reaching out to her new potential family,Brenda and her family for fostering and Pam for doing the home visit at short notice in order to make this happen so quickly for Bunny Rebecca and her new furever family.
Maggie is thriving. Look at this beautiful girl. She was fostered by Karen in 2011 and adopted by Patrick in June of 2011. She is a happy, loved and cherished little Scottie lass. Thank you to our fosters for the wonderful care they give to these little ones and to our wonderful adopters for giving these Scotties the love and life the so deserve. Patrick reports that Maggie runs the household -as it should be for a Scottie lass.