There can be life after cancer for your family pet
EDMONTON -- When the family pet is facing a cancer diagnosis, the outcomes can seem bleak. But there are many treatment options available to keep your furry friends around a little longer.
"There's more specialists, there’s oncologists, there’s veterinarian oncologists and there’s new medication," explained veterinarian Dr. Louis Kwantes. "Together we can try and do what’s best for animals."
Kwantes treated Princeton, a 12-year-old dog diagnosed with bone cancer, nearly a decade ago, before many of today's advancements were available.
Princeton had a leg amputated and underwent chemotherapy. He became one of the oldest known survivors of canine bone cancer.
"A diagnosis, even if it’s cancer, is not always as grave as it’s made to be," his owner Terry Fong said.
Princeton beat two other cancers before he died at 18 years of age.
"When he did pass, it wasn't from cancer," Fong said.
Treating canine cancer can be costly; Fong estimates he spent at least $20,000 on Princeton's care. But he has no regrets about doing what he could do save his beloved pet.
"He was my loyal companion for all these years. He was my best friend," Fong said.
He has written a book about his life with Princeton and their travels around western Canada after his diagnosis.
A photo of Princeton still hangs inside the Park Veterinary Centre in Sherwood Park, a reminder of what's possible with even the worst prognosis.
"I think if Princeton can act as a beacon of hope for us in our society with the things we're going through too that would be a positive effect," Kwantes said.