I have posted previously that Rusty had developed “Fanconi Syndrome”, which is an impairment in the function of the kidneys that causes certain compounds which should be absorbed in the bloodstream by the kidneys to be excreted in the urine instead. Fanconi’s syndrome is generally an inherited disease that affects the proximal renal tubule and causes abnormalities in sodium, glucose, calcium, phosphate and amino acid retention. The disease can also be mimicked by certain toxins and drugs (Chemo) that affect the proximal renal tubule and interrupt normal functioning. Rusty is losing glucose, amino acids, uric acid and phosphate into his urine. This explains his increased water consumption and frequent urination. It also explains his weight loss as he is dumping nutrients into his urine.
A couple of weeks ago I sent an email to Dr. Gonto, who developed the Fanconi Syndrome protocol in 2003, to see if he had an update to his protocol. I was not sure that I would reach or hear from him; boy was I surprised. Dr. Gonto is an MD (surgeon) who has pursued treatment protocols for Fanconi dogs; he is currently is monitoring about 300 dogs throughout the world. He responded immediately; we exchanged several emails and Dr. Macy sent Rusty’s test results for the past four months to Dr. Gonto.
I received this response today from Dr. Gonto “I agree COMPLETELY with where Dr. Macy has this dog and would change NOTHING”. He went on to say since Rusty had “induced Fanconi” that it would not be necessary to put him on any supplements, especially with his sensitive stomach; that we should “just watch and see”. This was very good news for us; to have both Dr.’s in agreement with Rusty’s treatment protocol is very reassuring. We will continue to monitor Rusty and Dr. Macy has him on a sixty day follow-up schedule for lab work, both for the Fanconi and to watch for the return of his cancer.
There was an article a few days ago from Dr. Susan Ettinger, (who is part of Dr. Dressler’s cancer treatment web site) from her attendance at the 2nd World Veterinary Cancer Congress in Paris; “A new side effect for Lomustine is being reported: kidney toxicity. We don’t yet know how common it is, but I will be double-checking for this in my own patients.” I have offered to have Dr. Macy send Rusty’s test results and diagnosis history to her for evaluation. Dr. Macy had Rusty on Lomustine for twelve months in the fight with his very aggressive cancer. We are waiting for more results to come out, but this pretty well confirms that Rusty’s Fanconi Syndrome was “induced” from the Chemo treatments.
With the warmer weather, Rusty is drinking even more water; he is still only going out once during the night, but is very anxious when we get up at 5AM to make a run to his box. The longest time we can be away during the day is 2 or 2 1/2 hours as he can’t hold it any longer than that. One of the suggestions that Dr. Gonto made was that we should not use “Pill Pockets” in giving Rusty his pills; they have noticed that in some cases that the Pill Pockets neutralizes the medications. I now use Velveeta cheese which Rusty eagerly waits for before his meals. We are still feeding him three meals a day along with several treats and his weight has been stable for the past couple of months.
Rusty’s last check up, on March 9th , was all good news; no sign of the cancer returning and his lab results showed that all of his kidney readings are at “normal” levels. April 25th will be the 27th month anniversary of his amputation.