Battling Canine Cancer

Image of fluffy dog panting.

Every day, Cindy Fleischner lines up her crew of cuddly canines for breakfast. As the four other dogs eat, Cindy pulls Katy, her 12 year old Shepherd mix aside for a peanut butter treat. Katy is battling lymphoma and this treat hides her daily dose of chemotherapy drugs. Katy is not alone in this war. Canine cancer is one of the leading causes of dog deaths. Of the more than 100 million dogs in North America, about two in four will develop cancer and one in four will die from some form of this dreaded disease. In some purebred dogs, the percentages could be even higher.

Adopted from the Denver Dumb Friends League, Katy was no stranger to hospitals. As a licensed Therapy Dog, she spent many hours at a local hospital, bringing comfort and joy to patients.However, Fleishner began to notice that Katy, a normally sweet dog, became distracted and that something was not right. A physical examination found a growing mass on Katy's throat. Further testing and surgery would determine that the lump was thyroid cancer.

Fleishner found that the whole process of determining the best course of action was confusing. After surgery, Katy underwent radiation therapy for the thyroid tumor at Colorado State University. She was able to win this battle, but her war against cancer wasn't over yet. Katy was again diagnosed, this time with a lymphoma, requiring more treatments and time with a cancer specialist. Eventually, these treatments saved her life. Fleishner knows she's lucky. In her metropolitan area, she had the choice of visiting a veterinary teaching hospital or a specialty center with a veterinary oncologist. Unfortunately, not all owners are as lucky. Sadly, cancer will claim almost 50 percent of dogs over 10 years old, leaving their owners bewildered and unsure of what to do. And of the almost 9,000 veterinary specialists, less than 200 specialize in veterinary oncology. A new collaboration, however, may help provide some answers - and options.

The Morris Animal Foundation, www.morrisanimalfoundation.org has launched the Canine Cancer Campaign in an attempt to stop cancer in our pets with a goal to cure this deadly disease within the next 10 to 20 years. Another immediate priority of the foundation is collaborating with cancer specialists ensuring pet owners have access to treatment options and advice. A new service through Oncura Partners, a well-known oncology specialist group is paving the way for owners to receive a free consultation through their veterinarian. Additionally, the MAF Canine Cancer Campaign brings together research scientists, industry leaders and 44 million dog-owning households throughout the nation in an effort to eradicate canine cancer.

Already, multiple scientific endeavors are working towards this end. A canine cancer tissue bank has been created due to a generous $1.1 million donation from Pfizer Animal Health. The Golden Retriever Foundation has promised $500,000 towards research for early detection. This will be money well spent since approximately 60% of Golden Retrievers die from cancer. Fleishner happily reports Katy is doing well with her lymphoma treatments, and her sweet, good-natured personality has returned.

Beyond helping our dogs with new innovative therapies, the Canine Cancer Campaign offers benefits for us as well. Many breakthroughs happening in this research will help fuel further prevention, treatment and even cures for human cancers. Remember, there is hope for dogs and their owners - despite a cancer diagnosis. Like Katy, pets can tolerate cancer treatments. Your veterinarian will work with you, local specialists and national resources to ensure your pet receives the best outcome possible. To learn more about the Canine Cancer Campaign, visit www.curecaninecancer.org.

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Testimonials

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  • "Absolutely incredible service and the best veterinary experience we have ever had. Every time we visit Progressive Vet Care, we are blown away by the attentiveness, professionalism and care shown by Dr Tim and the team. Dr Tim is highly capable and we feel very confident that our dog is in his care. Dr Tim always has time and goes above and beyond in answering our questions and providing a great service. I highly recommend Progressive Vet Care. I seriously cannot think of a single improvement to this practice as everything is already so well done."
    Shavini
  • "Fantastic friendly and professional service at this practice -so glad we have found this vet!"
    Adriana
  • "Tim and the team run an amazing vet practice at Progressive Vet Care. Gus the pug nearly died when he ate a keyring last year but Tim saves his life, quite literally. We are blessed to have such a great vet around the corner and their renovated practice is beautiful."
    Pip
  • "I highly recommend Progressive Vet Care. I used to take my dog to a different vet clinic for 10 years but when my dog got very sick, I just didn’t feel right and looked for a different clinic. Thank god I found Progressive Vet Care. Dr Tim was spot on with diagnosis and he & his team did everything they could for Leo. It was a very sad experience for our family to say good bye to Leo but I was so grateful to Dr Tim for his professionalism, loving care and compassion towards both Leo and our family. I wish I knew Dr Tim 10 years ago and took Leo to this fantastic clinic from the first place."
    Shinko
  • "Our first experience with Progressive Vet Care and extremely happy. Our dog needed emergency surgery which is always stressful to hear. Dr Tim was very supportive and gave us options to consider. He saw us on short notice on a Friday night and managed to fit our dog in Saturday morning for the surgery. Highly recommend !"
    Kerrie
  • "I brought my puppy here for his first visit and the staff were so helpful and attentive. A welcoming and happy environment, glad I chose this place!
    (And thanks for the help over the phone when I had concerns about my puppy, the girls at reception are so lovely!)"
    Stefani
  • "We were so grateful to Dr Tim (Bowden) and the team at Progressive Vet Care for their care and treatment of our very special Jack Russell x in the last few weeks of her life. I discovered the practice through looking for a vet that was open on a Sunday. They also have an emergency number to talk through concerns after hours. Dr. Tim was so thorough and patient in explaining all the options. We had the best, most compassionate care I could have wished for."
    Roz
  • "If i could give 10 stars i would. Dr Tim is a miracle worker he has fixed up my little Lolly and is always super attentive and thorough. Could not recommend this place any more.
    Love it!"
    Andy
  • "Exceptional service and trust. I recommend this vet clinic to any friends who welcome a new pet into their home. They work closely with rescue groups, the vets are very knowledgeable and the team who coordinate the reception are wonderfully friendly and easy to deal with. Won't be taking my doggo anywhere else!"
    Tassie
  • ""I adopted my cat from progressive vet care, he is the most beautiful loving boy, not only did they take amazing care of him as a new born kitten, they provided wonderful health care to him and have continued with such great care of him with each of our visit, such a wonderful team""
    Katrina
  • "The experience we had with Progressive Vet Care was outstanding. Both Dr Tim and the other staff members were efficient and helpful. Also very compassionate towards our dog Millie when she was desexed and afterward care. Soon we will need to take her for her vaccinations. There is definitely no other place I will take my Millie. Well done guys and many thanks."
    Maryanne
  • "We were very happy with Progressive Vet Care. Dr Tim was very thorough and even called up four days later to check on the progress of our whippet after his treatment and advise. I am going to bring all my animals to this vet clinic in future."
    Jessica