Our Ret. PSD Brando was vacationing in Prince Edward Island earlier this fall when he had a sudden seizure. He was rushed to the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, where he was taken into the care of Dr Stephanie Maloney, and student Kelsey (pictured). They worked tirelessly to diagnose him, and after blood/urine tests, ultrasound, X-ray, and finally an MRI, Brando was diagnosed with a brain meningioma. This is actually the most common cause of sudden seizures in older dogs, which is often the first sign anything is wrong. Brando’s tumour was small in size, but large enough to create pressure which caused his seizures. Due to the thorough care provided to Brando by Dr Maloney and her team, he was diagnosed quickly, and referred to Pulse Veterinary neurology department back home in Alberta to identify treatment options.
After his initial diagnosis in Prince Edward Island, Brando traveled home to Alberta with his mom, and completed consults with two outstanding veterinarians, neurologist Dr Casey Smith of Pulse Veterinary and oncologist Dr Katherine Sweet of Western Veterinary Specialist & Emergency Centre. Dr Smith and Dr Sweet carefully detailed all the options available for Brando’s meningioma, and after careful consideration, Brando’s mom opted for surgery, followed by a 4 week course of radiation.
Brando’s case has several features that made this decision the best for him and his family. First, his tumour was placed in an area that was accessible for Dr Smith to excise the tumour. Also, since the tumour was benign, and all other imaging showed that Brando was very healthy in all other areas of his body, he was considered a good candidate for the surgery. While removing the tumour seems like it would cure the problem, with a brain tumour a surgeon can’t remove a safe margin of healthy tissue to ensure a full excision. Radiation following surgery provided the best survival rates in other dogs, and all involved thought Brando deserved his best chance.
The final consideration of course, is cost. It’s a stark reality that families have to consider cost when treating their furry family members…Brando’s treatment plan carried costs in the ballpark of $40,000…. A huge amount for any family to take on. Thankfully, Brando’s mom got pet insurance for him through Pet Secure, and they covered 80% of the cost of treatment… if ever there was an advertisement for pet insurance, this is it!! Ned’s Wish was honoured to also help Brando with the cost of his treatment, so he and his family could just focus on him getting better. A message from Brando’s family: “Ned’s Wish was there for us every step of the way. Not just with help covering our portion of costs, but with emotional support, encouraging words, and the whole team reaching out for Brando updates and snuggles. Ned’s Wish is absolutely vital for retired police dogs, and their families.”
Brando’s surgery was scheduled for November 17, and his Radiation started on December 6. Stayed tuned as we take you through how he did!