Dr. William Smith uses new cancer treatment to treat pet
Recently, our own Dr. William Smith, who is at our Cheval Animal Hospital, used a new FDA-approved cancer treatment to treat a 9-year-old boxer named Bailey. Bailey had developed a cancerous tumor on her tail that had started to grow. Usually, in most cases, treatment would including surgery and amputating the tail, but using the new breakthrough drug, Stelfonta, Dr. Smith was successfully able to inject and treat the tumor.
The story was also featured on ABC Action News (by Robert Boyd, courtesy of Scripps Media, Inc.):
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A breakthrough in FDA-approved cancer treatment is changing how pet owners and their veterinarians handle tumors.
Running around the yard, Bailey doesn’t realize it, but she is at the forefront of veterinary medicine. So you could say the 9-year-old Boxer has become a poster pup for Stelfonta.
“She had a small mole when we got her originally; it didn’t look like much, it just looked like a mole and it started to grow,” said owner Christina Baker. “It really didn’t look that serious, but Dr. Smith looked at it and said that could be a tumor and we tested it. I didn’t really think it was going to be cancer. I was really surprised.”
Unfortunately, in most cases, the treatment would include surgery and amputating potentially the entire tail.
“So we talked about a new treatment option called Stelfonta,” said Dr. William Smith with Cheval Animal Hospital. “It’s basically a medication you inject into the tumor; the way it works is you inject those tumor cells and the mass will fall off.”
This was the first time Dr. Smith recommended the treatment. So Bailey was a bit of a pioneer.
“It was really exciting, but it was kind of scary; my husband was really worried; it was a new thing, you are trying a new thing that hasn’t been tried a whole lot of times, but it worked beautifully,” said Baker.
Bailey didn’t even realize what had happened.
“I mean, she ate the first night, went out the first night, she was a little sleepy, but the next day, she was like her normal self,” said Baker.
Eighteen months after surgery, she is as playful as ever. Christina and Dr. Smith hope this Boxer inspires pet owners and vets everywhere.
“We didn’t have to amputate her tail; we love seeing their little tails wag and go; that’s probably the happiest part of our day when we come home and see them,” said Dr. Smith.
“This is really exciting and if your dog fits the parameter, I think it’s something you should really consider,” said Baker.