Think about cancer treatment for dogs. Is your first thought about pain and suffering? Think again.
Meet Luna. This 6-year-old bulldog mix loves visiting BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Midtown Manhattan.
After three weeks of radiation therapy for a mast cell tumor on her leg, Luna knows exactly where to go for her treatment. She makes a beeline for the oncology service the moment the veterinary technician releases her leash. She even started jumping on the table by herself after just one week.
While Luna is perhaps unusually enthusiastic, her demeanor highlights how well most dogs respond to cancer treatment, said Dr. Joshua Lachowicz, a board-certified oncologist with BluePearl who is overseeing her care. “As in people, radiation will create a burn that is similar to a bad sunburn. It can be red, raw and painful,” said Lachowicz. “But overall, the side effects are very tolerable and transient.”
Luna’s mom, Amber Hartley, said she wasn’t surprised by her bulldog’s enthusiasm. “She’s like a bull in a china shop but she’s very, very sweet,” said Hartley. “She runs from one side of the apartment to the other and slams into the walls.”
Now, after 16 radiation treatments, Luna has a clean bill of health and Lachowicz said her prognosis is quite good. That’s great news for Luna, but the BluePearl staff sure will miss seeing her streaking through the hospital halls.