Case Report: Adrenal Gland Mass

Dexter is a nine-year old neutered domestic shorthair male cat. He began acting oddly in mid-May. He was vomiting and ataxic (walking with a staggered uncoordinated pattern). A week later he had become very lethargic, unwilling to move or even lift his head. He was rushed to the emergency vet and after some testing he was diagnosed with low potassium. Although they attempted to raise Dexter’s potassium level—it kept dropping.

He was referred to the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia’s Internal Medicine Division for an abdominal ultrasound in the hopes of finding a solution. Dr. Deppe soon discovered a mass on his adrenal gland. The mass was causing the dangerous drop in Dexter’s potassium levels. The only curative step was to remove the mass and treat his potassium deficiency.

Dexter was referred to the Dr. Bradley of the Surgical Division for a mass removal and biopsy. An abdominal exploratory was performed, and a marble sized mass was found on the right adrenal gland. The trouble was the mass was adhered to the surface of the vena cava. The vena cava is one of the two largest vessels in the body and is responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood back to the heart. After very, very careful dissection with blunt dissection scissors and q-tips, Dr. Bradley removed the mass without disrupting the vessel.

Dexter recovered well post-surgery and was sent home the next day. At his most recent recheck he was doing well and be rechecked by Dr. Deppe in October.