Dog Receives Human Cancer Treatment
TEXAS – An oncologist from McKinney, Texas has seen his fair share of cancer patients, but his four-legged friend, Bubba, is closer than most.
Nine-year-old Bubba, a black Labrador retriever, is just one of five dogs owned and loved by McKinney Regional Cancer Center medical director, Dr. Dennis Birenhaum. He said the dogs are his best friends and he cares about them like he does people.
He noticed a bump on Bubba’s hind left hip a few years ago. Birenhaum took him to the vet for x-rays which revealed Bubba had soft tissue sarcoma. The vet recommended amputation of the lab’s leg and hip, but this was not what Birenhaum had in mind.
Birenhaum, who has insurance on all of his pets, said he wanted to treat Bubba with chemotherapy and radiation, like he does with humans.
He sought three more opinions before developing a regimen for Bubba. The dog responded very well to the treatment and was in remission for nearly two years until another bump appeared. He began a new round of chemo earlier this month and will have another in January.
Bubba’s radiation oncologist, Dr. Philip Treul, said he’s thrilled with the results and you would never know anything happened to Bubba. Birenhaum agreed and said he acts like a normal, happy and healthy dog.
Birenhaum said a similar situation happened when he learned that Petey, one of his miniature dachshunds had acquired hemolytic anemia.
Vets advised him to put the dog down but he refused. He said he wouldn’t put his son down and this was no different. And with the help of some steroids, Petey is doing just fine.
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