The Interventional Radiology Service

Story 1: Copper's Story

Copper is a 6 year old Patterdale Terrier. She came to the Hospital for Small Animals because she was having difficulty urinating.

Interventional Radiology - patient stories - copper
fig 1: This is a radiograph of Copper’s bladder and urethral filled with contrast. The stricture of her urethra is visible as a narrowing of the contrast (white arrow). fig 2: This is a radiograph of Copper after the urethral stent was deployed (black arrow). The urethra at the narrowed area from the previous radiograph is now as wide as the stent at its largest diameter. fig 3: Upon recovering from anaesthesia, Copper was immediately able to urinate more normally than she had in the previous weeks.

She was diagnosed with a urethral stricture, or a narrowing of the urethra, that was so small she could not pass urine normally. This condition would ultimately be terminal if not treated. Surgery of her urethra was deemed too risky with a higher chance of complications. Instead, Copper had a urethral stent placed. In this procedure, a small wire is fed past the obstructed area into the bladder. The stent is passed over the wire and deployed. Once deployed, the stent opened up Copper’s urethra to a more normal size so that she could pass urine without difficulty. The advantage of this procedure is that it is all done through the opening of the urethra, so no surgery is required. Within a few days, Copper was urinating with no trouble and she was very bright and active. Several months later, Copper is still doing very well and is happy at home.