Our veterinarian specialists in Annapolis are passionate about the work they do to extend and save lives, and we’re extremely proud of the successes that have come and gone through our front doors. Today, we would like to focus on a few memorable patients that we’ve had the privilege of getting to know during their cancer treatment.
Rocco was treated at CVSS and Atlantic Veterinary Internal Medicine & Oncology, and just recently graduated from treatment for mast cell tumors.
Delsey is a 7-year old Mastiff who had her last treatment for osteosarcoma on March 14.
Thais is 10 years young and such a sweetie! She recently celebrated the 1-year anniversary for her thyroid carcinoma diagnosis and is cancer-free!
Zena just graduated from her osteosarcoma treatment (she was too cool to wear her graduation cap).
Mast Cell Tumors
Mast cell tumors (MCT) are quite common in dogs. While they generally appear on the skin, mast cell tumors can also affect other parts of the body, such as the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and GI tract. The tumors can also appear anywhere on the body.
Treatment options for MCT include chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. It truly depends on the condition of the pet and how far their condition has progressed. Early detection and treatment is the best chance for success.
Bone cancer is a condition most often found in larger breeds, though virtually any breed of dog can be affected. Bone cancer metastasizes quickly and is very aggressive, making an early diagnosis and treatment essential. A common sign of bone cancer in dogs is lameness, which may either develop slowly or suddenly.
Possible treatment options may include amputation or limb-sparing surgery and chemotherapy.
Thyroid carcinoma or thyroid cancer is affects the thyroid glands. Malignant tumors may spread to other organs in the body, and are more common in dogs than cats. A dog with thyroid cancer may not have any obvious clinical symptoms, but they may have a lump or mass on their neck. Masses on the thyroid glands may be surgically removed if possible, or they can be treated with chemotherapy or radiation.
Tully is a 9-year old Labrador Retriever and our first official HBOT patient. He is also the “best bud” of Dr. Hitt, our AVIM&O Medical Director and the lead on introducing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to our facility in Annapolis. Tully was born with bilateral elbow dysplasia, a condition in which both elbows develop abnormally, resulting in pain and lameness. He underwent arthroscopic surgery for both elbows via CVSS, our surgery group, when he was just 7 months old. While these surgeries improved Tully’s comfort level for the next 7 years, progressive chronic osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia eventually began to set in.
To reduce the discomfort associated with these conditions, Tully started receiving higher doses of gabapentin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and several supplements to increase mobility in his joints. Until just a couple of months ago, Tully seemed to be doing well. However, since December, he has required an increase in his medications in order to stay comfortable—even with reduced activity.
Thus, Tully was chosen to be the first patient in our new SeChrist HBOT unit. He has already spent two sequential, 1-hour treatments in the chamber and will now undergo treatment once a week, and then twice a month. After his first treatment, it appeared that Tully seemed more willing to run around with his housemate. Time will tell if HBOT is truly improving his situation, but we are hopeful.
HBOT has a variety of uses, helping patients that have experienced:
Toxic snake or spider bites
Prolonged wound healing
There are other diseases that may also benefit from HBOT, but clinical evidence of these benefits is still unclear. We’re constantly learning and working to expand our skill set with HBOT, and we look forward to using it for the benefit of many future patients.
Crockett is a 8 year old, Portuguese Water Dog who transferred to Atlantic Veterinary Internal Medicine and Oncology from Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic in July of 2017.
He was admitted to our facility for multiple enlarged lymph nodes, multiple masses in the liver and spleen, lethargy, loss of and poor appetite and diarrhea. He was fairly debilitated at the time of presentation. His diagnosis was consistent with intermediate cell lymphoma. Treatment options were discussed with the owners and the decision was made to start aggressive chemotherapy and Crockett was hospitalized for supportive care. Crockett’s prognosis was considered extremely guarded during hospitalization.
Despite poor odds, after a week of hospitalization,Crockett appeared to be slowly responding and he was sent home to continue with supportive care to see how he would do at home. Crockett came back in for a follow up visit and showed improvement in his clinical status and he has continued to make leaps and bounds throughout the rest of his chemotherapy treatments. He is an active dog and has continued to be so since throughout the rest of his treatments.
Crockett has been living his best life since undergoing treatment and his owners have been making the most of it, and overall happy with his progress. This is what the owners said when we requested pictures for this article. “Next week will be one year since diagnosis and we feel so blessed to have had such a good year with Crockett. This would not have been possible without your expertise and top-notch medical treatment– we appreciate you all so much! The Yellowstone photo is from earlier this month when we took Crockett out west. Yet, another milestone you helped us achieve. We always wanted to do this trip with him but we didn’t know if it would be possible. Thankfully, he came with us and had a wonderful time hiking and swimming.”