Meet Moose, a seven year old Golden Retriever and cancer patient at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
One morning in March, Andrea Dedeaux, DVM, (LSU SVM 2011), Medical Oncology Resident in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, said she woke up to find that her dog, Moose’s, rear right leg was extremely swollen. This was very concerning to her as a veterinarian and as his owner. Dr. Dedeaux took Moose to the Cancer Treatment Unit at the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where it was determined that Moose had hemangiosarcoma, which is an aggressive tumor of blood vessel cells. Because these tumors start in blood vessels, they are frequently filled with blood and when a blood-filled tumor ruptures, it can cause problems with internal and external bleeding.
“As an oncology resident and veterinarian, I know that this cancer is aggressive,” said Dr. Dedeaux. “As a pet owner, I was devastated at the thought of losing not only my dog, but my friend. I just wanted my boy to feel well again.”
Because hemangiosarcoma is such an aggressive cancer, Moose received several doses of chemotherapy, as well as a course of radiation therapy. In just three months, Moose is now finished with therapy. According to Dr. Dedeaux, “He feels amazing! He can run, jump, play and do all the things he did before his diagnosis.”
At this time, the tumor in his leg is not detectable by palpation, but unfortunately there is no cure for his disease. Dr. Dedeaux says her main goal is for Moose to have the best quality of life for as long as possible.
The Cancer Treatment Unit at the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital was formed in 1998 to aid in the diagnosis, care, and treatment of veterinary patients with cancer. The facility has two major service units—medical oncology (chemotherapy) and radiation oncology. Each of these units is designed to diagnose and treat veterinary cancer patients with the most advanced and cutting-edge technology available. The oncology service works from a team approach, so a patient requiring chemotherapy and radiation therapy has the benefit of being evaluated by specialists in each of these fields, who then design a treatment protocol tailored to their individual needs.
The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.
Pictured: Moose wearing a party hat to celebrate his birthday.