ACR&S is lucky to work with many wonderful veterinarians. Most of our animals owe their lives and health to vets who have donated time, supplies, knowledge, and money to provide care above and beyond what we might hope for. Now it’s time for us to help pay them back!
One of our vets in particular, Dr Lauren Powers, also devotes a good amount of her time to furthering the science of companion animal medicine by publishing research papers about some of the cases she’s seen. It’s all well and good for a vet to be knowledgeable and to learn from her experiences, but sharing that knowledge with other vets is critical to improving the ability of ALL vets to care for these difficult cases. The primary way for vets to share their knowledge is through peer reviewed research papers published in veterinary medicine journals.
Dr Powers has had a case involving a young rat named Dylan, who had a very unusual illness – one that has possibly never yet been described in medical journals. We’d like to help Dr Powers get his case published so that other rats can be helped, by letting other vets read about Dylan and Dr Powers’ efforts to save him.
Dylan first came to Dr Powers with very low blood glucose. He did not respond to treatment. This is typically a sign of insulinomas, which are tumors that secrete insulin. Dr Powers did every test she could, but his condition got so bad that he had to be euthanized, and Dr Powers did indeed find a tumor when she did a necropsy on him. This is a rare spontaneous tumor in rats, but it’s not unheard of – it’s known that they do occur in rats. However, further testing of Dylan’s tumor found that it is NOT an insulinoma – if the results are correct, this means Dylan had a relatively new form of pancreatic tumor (somatostatinoma, or mixed tumor). Dylan may have survived with successful surgery.
Dr Powers has spent a significant amount of her own personal money to diagnose and treat Dylan and to get the initial examination of his tumor. She needs one more analysis which will be done at Michigan State University (MSU) to confirm the nature of the tumor. That analysis costs $450, and ACR&S has promised to help Dr Powers raise the money so that this analysis can be done and the study can be published. This way, Dylan’s illness will not be in vain. Other rats may be presenting with similar symptoms and are dying because their vets don’t know it could be a somatostatinoma: since there is no report of this occurring in the veterinary literature, the vets don’t know that this is a possibility and don’t attempt to treat it. Additionally, description of a somatostatinoma in a rat might even help human doctors understand the occurrence of similar tumors in people! For all these reasons, we feel that getting Dylan’s results published is critically important.
One of ACR&S’ board members has pledged $50, so we are already part way there! If we can get just 20 people to donate $20 each, or 40 people to donate $10 each, we’ll make it in no time! All we need is some help from anyone who loves rats, or wants to help vets have a better understanding of how to diagnose and treat cancer. If you have loved and lost a rattie with cancer, please consider giving.
You can make your donation through PayPal – just use the link at the top of the page or log into your PayPal account and send money to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will be a tax-deductible charitable donation and you will receive a receipt to use on your taxes. Additionally, ACR&S’ board members will absorb the PayPal fees, so 100% of your donation amount will be sent to Dr Powers and MSU. You can also send a check directly to ACR&S or MSU, just email us to get the mailing address.