Monthly Archives August 2019

Brewster’s Graduation from Lymphoma Treatment in Annapolis

Brewster Sanger is a 10-year old Golden Retriever with lymphoma who recently graduated from CHOP (a chemotherapy combination treatment) at our animal hospital! He is a patient of Dr. Silver that we began treating in February of 2019.

More Pet Success Stories in Annapolis: Brewster and Family Celebrating from Lymphoma Treatment

What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that stems from white blood cells called lymphocytes. These cells assist the immune system in battling infection, and are found in the lymph nodes, bone marrow, and the spleen. Likewise, lymphoma is commonly found in these parts of the body.

Lymphoma has many variations, but there are four in particular that are most common in dogs. These include: multicentric, alimentary, mediastinal, and extranodal. Multicentric lymphoma is the most common of its type, and affects the lymph nodes.

Symptoms of Multicentric Lymphoma

The primary clinical sign of multicentric lymphoma is swollen lymph nodes, which can be anywhere from three to 10 times their normal size. Other signs include lethargy, weakness, fever, anorexia, and dehydration.

How We Can Diagnose Lymphoma

In addition to an exam and blood work, we will need to perform a fine-needle aspiration of the affected lymph nodes/organ(s). We can also do staging tests to see how far your pet’s condition has progressed. From there, we can walk you through your pet’s treatment options and help you make the best decision for their needs and yours.

Available Treatments

The type of treatment your pet receives at our animal hospital depends on the type of cancer they have and how advanced it is. In the case of Brewster, we selected a chemotherapy combination known as the CHOP protocol. Other pets may benefit from radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of therapies to give them the best prognosis.

The Case of the Pet Who Swallowed a Golf Ball

Sometimes, our pets eat things they shouldn’t, even when we think we’ve done everything possible to “pet proof” their environment. Strings, toys, bottle caps, and all manner of other items can be fair game for inquisitive pets; and if a pet cannot pass the ingested object on their own, medical removal will be necessary.

Recently, a wonderful and curious young canine patient decided to play with, and then swallow, a golf ball. He was presented to Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Center (AAVEC). This is type of case is not uncommon, as dogs often swallow balls and other foreign objects. These can often require surgical removal as the ball will often become lodged in the pylorus (the opening between the stomach and small intestine), leading to obstruction. Furthermore, sometimes the ball, or pieces, can become stuck in the esophagus.

In this case, attempts to induce vomiting did not help the pup expel the ball. As an alternative to surgical removal, video-endoscopy can be used for foreign body retrievals. The equipment is advanced and similar to the equipment used in human hospitals. Before this particular pet’s procedure, they were fasted overnight and anesthesia and endoscopy were then pursued the following morning.  

For this pet, endoscopy went well. An Olympus 9 mm-diameter video-endoscopy system was used, along with ingenuity (using a baby bottle liner), to go into the stomach via the throat/esophagus and then to the stomach. In golf terms, this involved working to put the “ball into the “hole.” But for this situation, we had to bring the hole to the ball, then trap it in the liner, and bring it back up with the endoscope. This is often a tricky effort as the ball is slick and moves around while the stomach is contracting. Fortunately, the ball was successfully captured and removed, and the pup was able to recover uneventfully.  

This made for a very interesting Saturday morning at AVIM&O, working closely with our colleagues at Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Center.