Crowby’s touching success story

In February 2007, our Whitfords hospital was visited by Crowby, a Chihuahua cross. Crowby's owners had brought her in to see us because she was not her normal self. She was lethargic and was not eating as much as usual. During a physical examination, our veterinarians noticed she also had enlarged lymph glands.

A biopsy of the glands was done and Crowby was diagnosed with Multicentric Lymphoma. This particular type of cancer affects the lymphatic cells and causes lymph gland enlargement all over the body. It eventually affects the liver and spleen and its progression can be rather rapid - if left untreated, the prognosis is often only eight weeks. However, Lymphoma tends also to be one of the most responsive cancers to chemotherapy and rapid responses are often achieved that can last from 12-24 months, depending on the protocol administered.
The situation with Crowby was a touch different though - her owners were due to become proud parents in August of 2007 (only 5-6 months away). Crowby was an integral part of this family for the last eleven years and the news was naturally devastating as "Mum and Dad" had really thought that they would be sharing their own joy of the new addition to the family, with Crowby. The decision was made to treat Crowby and a protocol was planned, taking into account a pregnancy in the household. Unfortunately, this meant that the more aggressive protocols could not be safely used and thus a more realistic remission time of only 6-10 months was anticipated.

Crowby sailed through the first four of her six treatments, and was in remission quickly. However, the fifth treatment seemed to have a few side effects, causing a drop in Crowby's white blood cells. On the final treatment we decided to substitute a different drug for her final treatment.

Crowby has not looked back - "Daniel" was born in August 2007 and "Mum and Dad" proudly gave us some photos of both together. It is now 19 months on, and Crowby is still doing well - she is still in remission and loving life!

For us, this has become a touching story reminding us of why we do what we do, as well as showing us that patients do not always "stick to the statistics"! Cancer in our pets is every bit as devastating but with available treatments nowadays, we are able to substantially improve these patients' lifespan and lifestyle. The side effects we are aware of and that haunt us from human experiences, are often not present in pets undergoing chemotherapy - they do not lose their hair, they rarely experience ongoing nausea and vomiting and in most cases, treatment is completed without any side effects whatsoever. At Whitfords Vetwest, we have a dedicated Oncology ward - designed with the necessary safety regulations in place - and a vet dedicated and experienced in cancer recognition, staging and chemotherapy treatment. Protocols are individually developed to suit both patients and pet owners and can vary in cost and intensity. 

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