500-mile journey from Birmingham to Cincinnati saves Boxer from fatal
CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–What is the connection between a family in Birmingham, Alabama and a
veterinary cancer care team in Cincinnati, Ohio, over 500 miles away?
Addy, an 11-year-old Boxer diagnosed with a life-threatening brain
tumor, and a dedicated pet owner on a mission to save her furry family
With the help of PetCure Oncology at Care Center, pet owner Laura Leal
and her beloved Addy will be able to enjoy some extra cheer this holiday
Laura and Addy have been an inseparable pair for more than a decade.
Laura, a registered nurse, credits her medical training in keeping Addy
healthy over the years. This past September, Addy began having seizures.
With support and guidance from their Birmingham-based primary-care
veterinarian, Addy was referred to a veterinary specialist and a CT scan
She was diagnosed with a brain tumor and given weeks or maybe months to
live if nothing was done. The recommended treatment was surgery to
remove as much of the tumor as possible followed by 30 days of standard
radiation therapy (RT). Laura understood the ramifications of the
diagnosis but was uncomfortable with the recommendation. Hoping to avoid
the lengthy treatment program and undesirable side effects that
accompany standard radiation therapy, she wondered if there might be an
alternate course of action.
Laura found hope in an emerging new cancer treatment called stereotactic
radiosurgery (SRS). She was pointed in the right direction by a
friend who had recently attended a lecture that mentioned a study being
done on dogs with brain tumors. With that in mind, she began to research
the topic online and came across Dr. Neal
Mauldin, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine and Oncology), DACVR (RO), a
leading expert in veterinary SRS and the Chief Medical Officer at PetCure
SRS is an advanced form of radiation therapy that has a long history of
success in human medicine but has just recently become available to pets
suffering from cancer. SRS offers significant benefits over traditional
offering a treatment with the intent to cure cancer rather than
just ease symptoms.
- minimizing both the risks and side effects commonly associated with RT.
delivering high doses of radiation with sub-millimeter precision in a
non-invasive, non-surgical manner.
- requiring only 1-3 treatment sessions as opposed to 15-30.
“When I read that SRS was non-invasive and completed in 1-3 treatments I
knew I had to learn more,” said Laura. “The nearest PetCure Oncology
location to me was Cincinnati. I called them the next day and made an
In late November, Laura, her father Joe, and Addy made the 8-hour drive
from Birmingham to PetCure
Oncology at Care Center, located at 6995 East Kemper Road in
Cincinnati. Addy began her SRS treatment on a Wednesday morning and by
Thursday afternoon – after just two treatment sessions – they were on
the road home.
“Addy did well,” said Laura. “There was no recovery period and no
post-treatment wounds. Today she runs around with my sister’s dogs,
plays in the backyard, and has fun with her toys. The PetCure Oncology
team was amazing and willing to help us in every way. This has been a
remarkable journey and I know in my heart she has received the best care
Oncology is revolutionizing cancer care for pets by establishing a
network of centers specializing in veterinary SRS across the country.
Centers in Phoenix,
NJ are operational. Locations in Wisconsin and Illinois are slated
to open in 2016, with many more centers in various stages of
development. To learn more or obtain a referral, visit PetCureOncology.com
or call 773.850.3400.
JoAnn Stewart, RVT, CVPM