Veterinary school offers chemotherapy for pets

Dr. Shawna Klahn (left) and Dr. Nick Dervisis (right) have begun a new oncology program. “Bootsie” (left) of Blacksburg, Va., and “Josie” (right), a West Virginia native, are in treatment for cancer

Veterinarians at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine have administered chemotherapy to about 70 animals since launching an oncology program six weeks ago. Four-year-old Burmese mountain dog Dylan’s lymph nodes are back to normal after chemotherapy to treat his lymphoma, says veterinary oncologist Shawna Klahn. “What we have done is bring in a closed or a needless system and updated the safe way of giving chemotherapy,” she said. WSLS-TV (Roanoke, Va.)

BLACKSBURG, VA —

Dylan is a Bernese Mountain Dog getting chemotherapy at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg.

The school is offering a new service with the help of Doctor Shawna Klahn and Dr. Nick Dervisis.  A biopsy showed cancer in Dylan’s lymph nodes.

“It came back as lymphoma,” Dr. Klahn explained.  “He came into oncology and we started chemotherapy, and his lymph nodes are all down to normal as of today.”

Dylan is only four years old and the treatment he is getting, is expected to give him a better quality of life.

“There are no hopeless cases for us,” Dr. Dervisis says.

Doc is getting chemotherapy for a rare spleen cancer in cats.  He is one of more than 70 patients that have gotten chemotherapy in the six weeks it has been offered.

Safety in administering the chemo drugs is extremely important.

“What we have done is bring in a closed or a needless system and updated the safe way of giving chemotherapy,” Dr. Klahn says.  “It is safe for our staff, pets and our clients.”

From custom fitted face masks to gloves that are more durable than the typical latex everyone in the oncology department is working toward the same goal.

“Providing hope by improving their quality of life slowing down most of the cancer,” Dr. Dervisis says.

Link to Virginia Tech Veterinary Medical School.

One Response to “Veterinary school offers chemotherapy for pets”

  1. Kathy Hackney says:

    Josie that you featured in the picture above lost her battle today. If were not for you , she would not have made it this long. I am friends with her owner, and I just wanted to tell you that you gave hope,
    and more time which is all anyone could ask for.Thank you

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