Chemotherapy - One of Dr. Sheldon’s interests is cancer in animals and he has extensive experience in administering chemotherapy. Dr. S is a member of the Veterinary Cancer Society and tries to stay abreast of the latest advances in cancer therapies. He worked closely with the University of Florida and looks forward to working with the University of Colorado State in a similar manner. CSU is among the leading institutes in cancer work and research for animals (if not THE leading institute).
If your pet has cancer Dr. S will set up an extensive counseling session with you and your pet to review all of the options available to you.
These photos show an aspiration biopsy being performed. This is a simple, painless procedure done in the outpatient treatment area; sedation is not needed. Cells are withdrawn from the suspicious mass with a syringe and expelled onto a microscope slide where they are stained and examined under the microscope. Aspiration biopsies tell us a great deal about what type of tumor we might be dealing with and will dictate what type of surgery needs to be done to remove the tumor. Luckily this tumor was not malignant.
This is a picture of a patient being prepped for removal of a lipoma; you can see the mass in her armpit. The aspiration biopsy done prior to surgery showed it as a lipoma (a benign fatty tumor) so a less aggressive surgical approach was taken. Lipomas are slow growing benign tumors and are very common in older dogs. However this tumor was large and weighed 1.5 pounds and the post-op recovery was difficult because so much tissue was removed.
The lesson here is don't watch lipomas grow too long before removing them.
This patient was also found to be hypothyroid (under active thyroid gland) and that may have contributed to the tumors. She was a great patient and did well post-op.
Dr. Sheldon checks and adjusts the doseage and drip rate while administering chemotherapy (note: the Florida Gator was not the patient). Chemotherapy drugs must be diligently administered and monitored according to set regimens called 'protocols'.