Veterinary Specialists Save Many Lives
Jitterbug is a little dog with a big smile. And no wonder. Modern veterinary medicine saved Jitterbug's life -- and the lives of four other animal survivors who appeared at a press event during the
The dog was lucky on two accounts. For starters, that Dell didn't assume there was no hope, which people often do with dogs who are paralyzed. Instead of euthanizing Jitterbug, Dell sought out a veterinary neurologist. Dr.
"I helped Jitterbug, and now Jitterbug is helping others by spreading her jitter joy," Dell says.
ACVIM veterinarians are boarded specialists in neurology, cardiology, oncology, and both large and small animal internal medicine.
"Sometimes we can cure problems, as in Jitterbug's case, and sometimes it's about improving the pet's quality of life then prolonging life," says small animal internal medicine specialist Dr.
Joshua, an 8 ½-year-old Golden Retriever, was first diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma, a kind of cancer, in 2008. Today, five surgeries later, he's thriving. Josh had several rounds of chemotherapy, including a then
Asked why he would put his dog through that,
Baillif and Josh have hit the road a lot since the diagnosis. Together, they've traveled to
"I learned through Josh to appreciate life every single day," Baillif says.
"Sure, curing a cancer is ideal," she says. "But there are cancers both people and pets can now live with, and mostly feel very good on a day-to-day basis. Medications keep the cancer at a low level."
Because of how chemotherapy is administered to pets -- at fairly low doses -- they mostly don't have any adverse reactions.
Of course, Josh doesn't know he has cancer.
"The problem I have isn't getting Josh up and going after most treatments; it's keeping him down so he can rest," says Baillif.
Emma is a cat who wouldn't stop sneezing. Owner
Amazingly, Golding has trained Emma to enjoy the taking her seven daily pills. From the start, she's paired the meds with chicken treats.
"If I'm late giving Emma her pills, she reminds me that it's time," Golding says.
Sometimes it takes a village. After shepherd-mix Missy was treated for cancer in 2007 and a type of kidney disease in 2008, she suddenly began to go downhill last year. No one was able to pinpoint the problem. It took internal medicine specialist Dr.
"We've had so many close calls with Missy," says owner
In 2006, Hettich lost another dog to cancer.
"One in three dogs get cancer," she says. "I wasn't about to lose another one. Tessa was so young (only 4). Seeing a dog fight cancer, then get back to life is inspirational." Now wiping away tears she adds, "None of this could have happened without veterinary specialty medicine, which saved Tessa's life."
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