Wednesday, November 7, 2012

“You can give chemotherapy to dogs like in humans?

I’ve been working in the veterinary medical field for a little over 10 years.  General practice, emergency, specialty dentistry, exotics, it seems like I’ve seen and done it all until I started working at The Veterinary Cancer Center. I’m from a small town in Texas where I feel that it is unheard of to treat an animal that has cancer. The common perception that I hear the most when people learn that I work at a Specialty Oncology Center is “Dogs can get cancer?”  Or my personal favorite; “You can give chemotherapy to dogs like in humans?  Or “You have the capability to radiate tumors too? “ The answer is yes you can.  I can honestly say that I had the same view and attitude but I came to realize the sheer science, beauty, and what a discipline veterinary oncology entails. My primary role in the hospital is Radiation Therapy, where I work alongside Tara, Rosie, and Dr. Farrelly. Dr. Farrelly is one of the few veterinarians in the country that is a double boarded in Radiation Oncology through the American College of Veterinary Radiology and Medical Oncology through the American College of Internal Medicine (Oncology). It is a true honor to learn and work with him.

Like I said before, Veterinary Oncology is a very interesting and amazing niche in veterinary medicine and Radiation Oncology is an even smaller niche that I find even more amazing. With my limited experience in the field I can say that I’ve seen some amazing and inspirational things being done. My personal philosophy is that I devote my life and time to my animals and I’m trusted in the care of your animal as a veterinary technician and want provide the best care possible. So when I see an animal that is clearly in pain or not feeling well due to a cancer, I want to see results just as you do. By working with Dr. Farrelly in the Radiation Oncology Department, I see animals that are in pain, but after a couple weeks of treating these patients, I feel like I can see the relief and see that they feel better.  Sure, the side effects of radiation are there, but getting down to the root of why we’re treating, we are potentially curing and prolonging an animal’s life. We can always treat the side effects (that’s the easy part).  Next month I’ll present one of these cases and show you firsthand the “awesomeness” of what we do for your pet.  Until then, continue to Hope, and we’ll continue to give Hope to your pet.

-Stephen Renner

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