This past Saturday, I saw four three-legged dogs- each one having lost a limb as part of their treatment for bone cancer. I met another sweetie pie with a shaved patch over one side of his chest. His mom told me this was the site where her pup’s chest cavity was drained of fluid produced by a cancer growing at the base of his heart. Yet another dog I encountered had an orange-sized tumor on the bridge of his nose.
Believe it or not, I met none of these dogs in a veterinary hospital setting; rather, we were all gathered in Elk Grove, California, the site of the very first Morris Animal Foundation Walk to Cure Canine Cancer. Morris Animal Foundation has launched an unprecedented $30 million fundraising effort with the following goals in mind:
1. Provide new treatments for dogs currently suffering from cancer
2. Establish a high-quality tumor sample bank that can be used by cancer researchers
3. Develop prevention strategies so that cancer might one day be eliminated or, at the very least, drastically reduced in incidence and severity
4. Train new researchers who will work towards discovering preventions, treatments and cures
An important part of the fundraising effort will be in the form of “Walks to Cure Canine Cancer.” The Elk Grove Walk raised $17,945! I had the honor of speaking at this fabulous first-of-its-kind event- what a thrill to be part of it all! More than 300 dogs and their humans gathered together in the fight against canine cancer.
As unfathomable as it sounds, cancer will be the cause of death in one out of every four of our beloved canine companions. There’s so much we don’t yet know about what causes canine cancer and how best to treat it. I’m thrilled with the Morris Animal Foundation plans. They are an incredibly ethical and effective organization, and I am expecting great things. To learn more about the Morris Animal Canine Cancer Campaign, please visit http://www.curecaninecancer.org/. I encourage you to participate in any way you can.
Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.
Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot
A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102105836&ps=cprs