How can I tell if a lump or bump is cancerous?

Tumors of the skin and subcutaneous (tissue just underneath the skin) are the most common tumors affecting dogs and the second most common tumors affecting cats. There are a wide variety of tumors that can occur within the skin, and it is very important to remember that not every skin tumor is cancerous. In fact, … Continue reading How can I tell if a lump or bump is cancerous?

What is one of the hardest jobs in the veterinary field?

One of the most important people you will encounter in your veterinarian’s office is the receptionist who greets you when you walk through the door. This is especially true for doctors like me who work in the veterinary referral industry. We do not evaluate healthy puppies or kittens, nor do we typically find our schedule … Continue reading What is one of the hardest jobs in the veterinary field?

“I thought it was just a little limp…” Part 3: Palliative options for canine osteosarcoma

Thus far I’ve discussed various methods we use to diagnose dogs with osteosarcoma and the staging tests for canine osteosarcoma. In the following two articles I will describe palliative and definitive treatment options for this disease, and their respective prognoses. To review, osteosarcoma is an aggressive form of bone cancer in dogs. Most tumors arise … Continue reading “I thought it was just a little limp…” Part 3: Palliative options for canine osteosarcoma

The bigger (and smaller) picture of cancer care in pets

There are two considerations I have before making treatment recommendations for patients diagnosed with what are known as “solid tumors” (i.e., those that develop in one tissue and can spread throughout the body). The first is predicting how the tumor will behave in a localized sense, meaning directly at the same anatomical site where it … Continue reading The bigger (and smaller) picture of cancer care in pets

“I thought it was just a little little limp”, Part 2…

Last week I introduced you to Duffy, an older Golden retriever, whose seemingly simple limp turned out to be a harbinger for the devastating diagnosis of osteosarcoma. This week I want to go over some of the available staging tests designed to look for spread of this type of cancer, as well as provide my … Continue reading “I thought it was just a little little limp”, Part 2…

How much is too much?

I regularly face owners who decide not to pursue therapy for pets that have what are considered treatable cancers. The reasons for this choice can stem from concerns for too many vet visits, too much strain for the pet to go through, projection of their own feelings about cancer treatments on their pets, or financial … Continue reading How much is too much?

Because sometimes it’s not cancer!

Meet Mocha! She's a patient I recently saw  who was referred for possibly having a lung tumor. The outcome was much better than everyone expected! The story is a great example of collaboration between veterinary specialists as well as why it's so important we don't put "blinders" on and keep an open mind to the … Continue reading Because sometimes it’s not cancer!

Can blood work diagnose cancer in pets?

“Isn't there a blood test you can do that will tell you if it’s cancer or not?” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that question, well, I’d have a lot of dollars. If I could invent a test that I truly believed could answer the question with accurate, honest, and … Continue reading Can blood work diagnose cancer in pets?

I am supremely excited!

One of my articles was selected to be published on kevinmd.com! This is a website created and founded by Dr. Kevin Pho, a human internist and health care social medial leader. I've been a follower of the site for many months now, and thought maybe, just maybe, I could throw my hat into the ring and submit an … Continue reading I am supremely excited!

The three step plan to curing cancer…

The 3-step mantra ingrained into my brain during my residency in medical oncology was to “name it, stage it, and treat it.” The philosophy is simple: First you must identify the disease process you’re dealing with (name it). Then you search for where in the body you can find evidence of the disease (stage it). … Continue reading The three step plan to curing cancer…