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Rusty's Cancer and Fanconi Syndrome Update
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Palm Desert, California
Member Since:
8 February 2010
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11 April 2012 - 9:05 pm
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I have waited until we had more information on Rusty's Fanconi Syndrome before posting.   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 finally at “normal” levels.  April 25th will be the 27th month anniversary of his amputation.

I  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. We are now part of a "fanconidog" support group; it is great that so many people are willing to share their experiences and advice with those of us going through the same challenges.

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 team) 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 his Chemo treatments.

We are extremely pleased that Rusty's cancer is in remission and that we are able to control his Fanconi Syndrome with medications and diet. He has certainly had his share of challenges during his young life.

Chuck & Rusty

Rusty is a Labradoodle who was diagnosed with level 3 Fibrosarcoma on January 16th, 2010 and had his left hind leg amputated on January 25th, 2010 five days before his 18 month birthday. Please see Rusty's blog  He is putting up one heck of a fight against this terrible disease.

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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11 April 2012 - 9:50 pm
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Glad to hear Rusty is still fighting the good fight! Keep it up Rusty!

We're pulling for you to get a Flying Dutchman on your 27 month ampuversary!
Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Member Since:
10 February 2011
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11 April 2012 - 10:10 pm
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Keep Kickin it Rusty!clapclapclap

It's always pawsome to hear good news from the "experts"

12 April 2012 - 9:01 am
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Good to hear that Rusty is still hanging 12!!


I am curious to find out what conclusions Dr. Ettinger comes to about kidney issues and loumustine.  That was one of two chemo drugs Maggie was on for 6 months to treat her mast cell cancer with lymph node mets.  About 2.5 years after she was done with treatment she showed very early signs of kidney failure, although I didn't realize what it was at the time.  She was diagnosed officially with kidney failure about 3 years after her chemo treatment.  We battled that for her last 3 months, but we also were up against another cancer, oral melanoma.

I asked our oncologist if the chemo treatments contributed to the kidney failure and she said no, but I have always wondered. Mag was only given 6 to 9 months WITH the chemo treatments- I got the impression at the time (2 years ago) that no one really knew kidney issues were possible since most pups treated didn't live long enough to develop them.


Karen and the pugapalooza

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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12 April 2012 - 10:29 am
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Thanks for the update, we're always glad to hear how Rusty is doing, and what terrific news he's doing so well! Be sure to post some more footage of his summertime surf sessions!

Appreciate the update about lomustine and kidney side effects. I have been meaning to put this in the News blog . Here is the blog post for folks who want to know more:

Topics from the 2nd World Veterinary Cancer Congress, Paris 2012

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.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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12 April 2012 - 2:29 pm
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Sending all my best to Rusty.  We'll continue to cheer for him.

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

12 April 2012 - 6:51 pm
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That is fantastic to hear that Rusty is doing well!! I have never heard of that syndrome and I am glad that you have it under control. That is great that the Dr. responded to you so quickly and that he said that what your vet was doing was what he would recommend. And congratulations to Rusty on his coming up 27 month ampuversary!!! 

Los Angeles
Member Since:
2 November 2009
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15 April 2012 - 9:11 am
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So happy to hear that Rusty is doing well!  That's great news!  Keep up the good fight Rusty! We'll be cheering for you! way-coolway-coolway-cool

Kami, Angel Mackenzie, Kobe & Scarlett

My sweet golden Mackenzie.  She became my angel on Dec 29, 2010 at the age of 8 1/2  although she was always my angel from the time we brought her home.  She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Sept 2009 and officially became a tripawd (front leg) on Nov 5, 2009.  She will be forever in my heart and now she's running free with all of our other tripawd heroes.  I love you Mackenzie!

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