Parker, a Cancer Survivor

parkerbeachThis Saturday, April 25th, is Berks County’s Bark for Life dog walk!  Canine cancer survivors and their owners will be out in force to bring awareness to cancer.  They will be joined by both two legged and four legged supporters.  BAERC will be there lending support to these amazing canines.  We look forward to this event every year because it gives us an opportunity to talk with owners and we get a chance to meet some courageous canines up close and personal.

A diagnosis of cancer in our pets is devastating, however it doesn’t always mean that we have reached the end of the road with our furry companions.  There are different types of cancers, and some may be amenable to chemotherapy.  Yes, you read that correctly.  There ARE chemotherapeutic options for certain types of canine cancers.  You may be thinking, “I don’t want my dog to lose  fur or be nauseated all the time.”  However,  chemotherapy in dogs and people is quite different.  In our pets, we use different doses of chemotherapy drugs and loss of fur/daily nausea is highly uncommon.  Chemotherapy in pets is palliative, not curative.    A good quality of life is the goal while alleviating some of the symptoms of cancer.  When receiving a diagnosis of cancer, a consultation regarding treatment, quality of life and other concerns is an option.  Our own Dr. Carl Veltri, in conjunction with a board certified oncologist,  provides consultations and cancer treatment at BAERC.

Meet Parker, a cancer survivor.

Parker’s owner writes this account of their experience together and how they handled his diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma, a highly aggressive cancer.

“Parker came into my life 7 years ago this May.  He was a 3 year old beagle that I adopted from the Animal Rescue League.  Parker has brought so much joy to my life.  In February, 2014, Parker visited his veterinarian because he was not feeling well and I noticed his gums were pale.  The veterinarian did some bloodwork and tapped his belly.  There was blood in Parker’s abdomen.  She drove Parker and me to Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center.  There it was determined that Parker had a mass on his spleen that had ruptured.  Parker needed emergency surgery as he was bleeding into his belly. It was so scary for me because I did not know if he would survive the surgery, but he did.  A week later, Parker’s pathology report came back with a diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma, a highly aggressive cancer.  After Parker had his surgical staples removed, we started a 28 week course of chemotherapy.  Parker did very well with his treatment!  After he was done with his treatment, Parker and I celebrated by going on vacation to the beach.  He is now on a daily chemotherapy pill and gets blood work done every 4 weeks.  He is doing well.  I pray for Parker’s good health every night.  Parker has a very big following on Facebook that also keep him in their prayers.  I must thank Dr. Veltri, Dr. Conklin and the staff at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center for the care they have given Parker.  If it was not for everyone, I would not have my boy with me today.  Parker gives a big beagle AaarrRooOO…..that is beagle for thank you.”

The photo above is from Parker’s celebration beach vacation.  Look at that smile!:)



All rights reserved.  May not be published without permission from Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center.

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