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Pheochromocytoma, what’s that?

By February 23, 2016 No Comments

Pheochromocytoma, what’s that?

Trust Miss Twinny to have a rare form of a tumor!

Miss Twinny came to me as a rescue, she was rescued from a terrible situation and soon became a beloved part of my family.

Everyone that met Miss Twinny fell in love, she had a face only a mother could love.  A squishy little face with snaggly teeth.

Miss Twinny was diagnosed with Pheochromocytoma, a rare adrenal tumor.  She unfortunately passed away just before they were going to do surgery to hopefully remove the tumor so I could have a few more years with my Miss Twinny.

Now looking back there were small signs that I didn’t notice at the time, like all of us we are busy and rushing around in this so called thing called life.   She had been not eating like she used to, I put that down to one of our other dogs at the time was pushy and I had to watch Miss Twinny when it was feeding time.  I put it down to her being scared of the other dog, causing her to be depressed. I also thought back to her drinking more, and more restless, also sleeping more, yes I know seems weird, being restless, and then sleeping more.

It became very obvious on our walk to the dog park two years ago when Miss Twinny kept stopping and her breathing was rapid.  I of course rushed her to work with me and Dr King examined her and we took blood to send off.  The blood work came back with alarming results, which then started the whole prognosis of what was ailing my sweet Miss Twinny.  We booked an ultrasound, and they were able to see the mass.

We then booked a referral appointment with an Internal Medicine Specialist as the surgery she would require is very risky.  I was very hopeful they could save her and I would be picking her up after her surgery and bringing her home to recover.

Here is a little about the tumor Miss Twinny had:

A pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the adrenal gland, which causes the glands to make too much of certain hormones. This can cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. These symptoms are intermittent (not present all of the time) because the hormones that cause them are not made all of the time or are made in low amounts.


Pheochromocytomas are rare in dogs. They usually occur in dogs that are older than seven years but can occur in younger dogs as well. Because this tumor affects an endocrine gland that functions to spread hormones, pheochromocytomas commonly spread to organs that are near them and can rapidly metastasize to other areas of the body.


The moral of the blog, is any little thing you notice, like not eating as much, drinking more, ANYTHING, call your Veterinary Clinic and make that appointment.  Do the bloodwork, as without the bloodwork we wouldn’t have known that Miss Twinny was in trouble.

This process was less than a week from the dog park to saying goodbye to my Miss Twinny.


I miss and think of her every day!


Lifelearn Admin

Author Lifelearn Admin

S. Fontana is a LifeLearn author.

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