The Interventional Radiology Service

Story 3: Bonnie's Story

Bonnie was a 13 year old Terrier mixed breed. She was diagnosed with cancer in her urethra, called transitional cell carcinoma.

IR Stories - Bonnie
Fig 1: On this radiograph, Bonnie’s bladder and urethra are visible filled with a contrast agent. Her urethra, which normally should be smooth, was narrowed and irregular due to the tumour filling her urethra (white arrow). Fig 2: This radiograph was taken after the urethral stent was placed. Bonnie’s urethral tumour has been pushed outward by the stent (black arrow). A marker catheter was visible in her colon which is used in order to make accurate measurements of the required stent size.

Because of this, Bonnie was having a great degree of straining when she passed urine. Unfortunately, at the time of diagnosis, the cancer had metastasized to the lymph nodes so we sought a palliative treatment to improve Bonnie’s quality of life and reduce her discomfort.

She was treated with anti-inflammatories (meloxicam) and a urethral stent was placed. For this procedure, Bonne was briefly put under general anaesthesia. A guidewire was passed up her urethra past the tumour. A stent of the appropriate size and length for Bonnie was then placed. Immediately upon recovery from anaesthesia, Bonnie was able to urinate without discomfort or straining.

Within two weeks, her attitude had improved and she was “back to normal.” Bonnie did very well with no problems urinating for an additional 2 months, at which time she was sadly euthanized due to complications from her metastatic disease. Bonnie’s owners were happy with their decision to have placed the urethral stent because it allowed Bonnie additional time that was free from pain or discomfort.

On this radiograph, Bonnie’s bladder and urethra are visible filled with a contrast agent. Her urethra, which normally should be smooth, was narrowed and irregular due to the tumour filling her urethra (white arrow).

This radiograph was taken after the urethral stent was placed. Bonnie’s urethral tumour has been pushed outward by the stent (black arrow). A marker catheter was visible in her colon which is used in order to make accurate measurements of the required stent size.

This edited video demonstrates the placement of the stent. First, the guidewire was passed into the bladder. The stent was then passed over the guidewire and deployed in the correct position. In Bonnie’s case, two stents were required because the tumour was too long to be treated with one stent.