By now most of you are readying your nachos and your chicken wings for the big Superbowl event on Sunday (sorry Packers). The competition is great, but so is the entertainment. We are all waiting to see the clever Budweiser commercials and big half time show. This year is extra special as our very own UW Vet School is featured in one of the big commercials. The commercial features Scout, a beautiful Golden Retriever who is being treated for Hemangiosarcoma. The commercial is touching, and more importantly brings good attention to the research and progress the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is doing to fight cancer (in animals AND humans). We’ve included the link below – it’s well worth a watch.
It’s also a good chance to talk about a common cancer in dogs – Hemangiosarcoma. It is, sadly, a very common type of cancer among our Golden Retrievers (and Labs and Shepards) and it is one of the worst diagnoses that the veterinarians want to deliver. Without aggressive intervention this is a cancer that works fast (usually at the site of the heart or spleen) and can occur in middle age dogs that seem otherwise perfectly healthy. It’s a hard one to understand because your dog looks just fine on the outside while inside there is a big bleeding tumor causing lots of problems. Typical early signs may be waxing and waning energy levels and missed meals. More acutely, people might see their dogs stumbling or too weak to rise. And if you were savvy enough to assess their perfusion (by looking at their gum color), you might note that they’re pretty pale. Needless to say, if you have questions about this disease or concerning symptoms in your pet, be sure to call.
But meanwhile we’ll focus on the positives and enjoy the success of Scout’s stardom and the wonderful and much deserved press the UW VMTH is getting. Congrats to Scout’s owners for being awesome, the amazing veterinary staff behind the family, and WeatherTech folks for featuring Scout and bringing attention to this important issue.