Dogs, Cats and Other Phenomena

Monday, September 26, 2005

Callie and Radiation Therapy

Well, we haven't started on Callie's radiation yet. Probably not until Oct. 4. But last night, I could see that the tumor has grown. Has me worried. It had grown before but I picked at it. I'm not going to do that now. I have a horrible feeling that the radiation won't work. And the problem is, it's in the nasal cavity, which makes it easier to spread.

The doctor I talked to last night, Dr. Kitchell (I believe she usually works at Michigan State University) had never seen this either. The main thing is for all 3 doctors to agree about how to do the radiation. Dr. Kitchell said she put a call in to Dr. LaRue to discuss how they'd do the radiation. But Dr. Kitchell was only at All Care for the day. Dr. Ravi S. Dhaliwal, DVM, MS (Callie's actual doctor) is a 1986 graduate of the Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine - Specialty of Oncology. He completed his residency in clinical oncology and MS at the University of Illinois in 1998. Dr. Dhaliwal’s special interest is in clinical oncology and hematology. Since 1995, Dr. Dhaliwal has been the Staff Oncologist for VCA All-Care Animal Referral Center. Additionally, Dr. Dhaliwal is a Clinical Oncologist for South Bay Veterinary Specialists, in San Jose, CA.

Dr. LaRue, in CO, is the big radiation specialist (with whom Dr. Dhalival consulted)- I believe she's the Program Director at CO State University. I bet this is her web page:, Found this about Dr. Kitchell. She's a high mucky-muck too, so I feel better about all this! "Dr. Barbara Kitchell, one of the nation's leading veterinary cancer experts, will join Michigan State University as director of the College of Veterinary Medicine's new Comparative Oncology Center. Kitchell's appointment, approved by the MSU Board of Trustees at its June 5 meeting, includes a tenured professorship in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences. The appointment is effective July 1, 2003."

Callie may not survive this but at least she has a good team on her side!

Found this about Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy along with surgery and chemotherapy is one of the major treatment modalities for cancer in both human and veterinary patients. CSU began doing radiation therapy on pet animals in 1958 and in 1981 had the first linear accelerator dedicated to the treatment of veterinary patients installed in this room. The current machine was commissioned in 1994 and is a 6 MV Linear Accelerator with electron treatment capabilities. This allows us to treat very deep tumors as well as superficial tumors. Radiation therapy is used for the treatment of a wide variety of tumors including nasal tumors, soft tissue sarcomas of the body and extremity and mast cell tumors. This machine is also used for intraoperative radiation therapy where an animal’s tumor is exposed at surgery and then placed in front of the beam so the normal tissue can be limited from the radiation field. Radiation therapy is generally delivered in fractions each day over a 3-5 week period. Because our patients are animals we need to anesthetize them so they will not move during the treatment. Because we can not be in the room while the radiation is being administered we have two cameras in the room, one focused on the patient and one focused on the monitoring equipment. Radiation therapy is not painful and the procedure lasts only a few minutes. It is important that the patient be precisely set up each day. There are two lasers intersecting at a point in space that aids in the positioning of the patient.

I also found this webpage about a dog named Goldie. You have to read it. Great dog but many health problems! Awful. But the family swears by All Care.

Here's the cute part of the story: Goldie was an incredible animal. We received Goldie as a gift from good friends. Goldie's mother was a Great Dane and her father was a Doberman/Labrador mix. The litter was planned. Our friends wanted one litter out of the Dane because she was such a great dog so they bred her with another one of their beautiful dogs. She was taken from her litter at 3 1/2 weeks and weighing 9 pounds because there were nine fast growing puppies and the vet felt that the mother would have trouble feeding them all. Since one of us was home most of the day I was able to bring Goldie home. However, we made one important stop before going home and that was to our family vet. Another incredible source for care for Goldie had been and will be for all of our current and future pets is All-Care Animal Referral Center in Fountain Valley, California. All-Care is open 24 hours a day and provides Mayo-Clinic type of care for your pets. When your family vet is unavailable or unable to provide certain care for your pets All-Care is the place where we go and suggest the same to our family and friends.

Goldie's 'puppydom' was pretty normal if you consider the chewing, jumping, running and the house training. The best chewing story and a strong reminder to leave your laundry secure was when she decided to eat a brand new suit my husband got in Italy - thank God for American Express. We had left the dry cleaning basket at the front door ready to be taken in the next day. Goldie took the opportunity that evening, after we went to bed, to take out the brand new suit and shred it. American Express sent us a long form that needed to be filled out and reviewed before they could consider a refund. We filled out the form and decided to add a photo of our 80 pound puppy - we sent the form along with the shreds and the picture to Amex. In two days we received a phone call with laughter in the background - it was American Express. Amex wanted us to know that they just received their package and that we would be receiving a credit on our next statement (they loved the picture).

Very cute story, huh? I have an active puppy too, so I can just imagine!


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