A Veterinary Oncologist can offer numerous cancer treatment options to help pet owners facing a cancer diagnosis; this is Riyal’s story.

This blog post is written by Christy Hovey and will be in Urban Liaison’s spring 2014 issue, featuring “Riyal.” This sweet Pug is fighting cancer, here is his story:

While cancer remains a leading cause of death in older pets, recent medical advances have made it one of the most treatable conditions in veterinary medicine. Consulting with a veterinary oncologist is an integral part of your pet’s treatment plan and can offer the most advanced treatment options available for your pet. WestVet is pleased to provide the services of Carrie Hume, VMD, DACVIM, Idaho’s only board certified small animal oncologist and Victoria Ochoa, DMV, DACVIM, a small animal internist. The oncology diagnostic and treatment services team uses innovative technology in combination with traditional approaches ensuring that your pet receives the best cancer treatment possible.

Treatment for cancer in dogs and cats can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, pain control, and other palliative approaches. WestVet's Animal Cancer Veterinary Treatment Center offers radiation and chemotherapy for pets with cancer.Leslie Folsom, of Idaho Falls, knows firsthand how specialty veterinary care can save a pet’s life. Last November, her beloved ten-year-old Chinese Pug, Riyal, developed a growth on his genitals. Leslie took him to three local veterinarians before one of them had the foresight to contact the specialists at WestVet. Riyal’s growth was doubling every day and the WestVet team recognized that the pug was in serious condition straightaway. Cancer was diagnosed and was determined to be in Riyal’s lymph nodes. Dr. Hume advised Leslie to begin chemo immediately.

Leslie says, “Along with wanting to preserve Riyal’s life, Dr. Hume was very concerned about his comfort. Carrie suggested chemo at home in a pill form. Right after we started the treatment I noticed Riyal quickly began acting happier and more like himself.” Leslie thought that she was, “… just keeping him comfortable and temporarily relieving his pain,” and had little hope that he would have an extended life. “Imagine my surprise when I came back to see Dr. Hume one month later and found out he was in remission. In December, I received the best Christmas present ever. I found out that my dog was going to make it.”  In February, Leslie celebrated Riyal’s eleventh birthday with eleven other dogs. She credits WestVet for making this possible.

WestVet offers the highest level of diagnostic tools and imaging services available in the industry including CT, MRI, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine. In addition, their on-site diagnostics laboratory will provide timely results for patients diagnosed with cancer or undergoing cancer treatments. Their goal is to help your pet achieve longer or the best quality of life as possible. By providing chemotherapy services for pets, they are enabling a level of health care that is rapidly approaching the scope of services offered in human health care.

Chemotherapy treatment plans vary depending on the type and nature of cancer with which your pet is afflicted. WestVet can work with you and your family veterinarian to help you decide if chemotherapy is the right option. You don’t have to go through your pet’s illness alone. The WestVet team reminds us that, “We hope you don’t need us, but if you do, we’re here to help.”

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