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Bone Marrow Transplant Offered For Dogs

Recently Dogster and the Morris Animal Foundation joined forces on a fundraising campaign to fight canine cancer. Since this devastating disease is so prevalent, killing...

Horst Hoefinger  |  Sep 4th 2008


Recently Dogster and the Morris Animal Foundation joined forces on a fundraising campaign to fight canine cancer. Since this devastating disease is so prevalent, killing 1 in 4 dogs, it is imperative to keep raising money for canine cancer research. Hopefully, eventually changing this statistic.

I’m always looking for relevant articles on canine cancer research and I came across an article about NC State University. Their Veterinary Medicine department is going to start offering bone marrow transplants on dogs with lymphoma.

The university’s College of Veterinary Medicine plans to begin performing the procedure within about four weeks, said Dr. Steven Suter, an assistant professor of oncology. Suter arranged for N.C. State to accept three donated leukophoresis machines from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The costs for this procedure are not going to come cheap. You can expect $15,000 alone on just the bone marrow transplant. On top of that there will be vet bills and chemotherapy, needed to send the disease into clinical remission.

Many dog owners already spend a huge amount of money for treatment, in excess of $10,000, with a survival rate of only 12-16 months. This new procedure will at least give them a 50% chance of survival.

The process of extracting the stem cells is painless for dogs, though it might not be so for owners. Consequently, NCSU is seeking donors to help underwrite the cost of treating ailing pets.

“We really understand this is a lot of money for a lot of people,” Suter said. “We’re looking for some corporation or some person to step up and help these clients.”

The university will start off treating about one dog a month. However, not all dogs will qualify for this treatment. The dogs must be at least 55 lbs. and the procedure is specifically for those dogs with lymphoma.

With standard treatment about 80-85% of dogs will eventually die. Dr. Steven Suter, an assistant professor of oncology, stated “I got tired of watching that happen. I decided the time had come to try something different.”

The picture that I chose today is in memory of one of our very own Dogster angels. Maxie, a beautiful girl, was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of ’07 and crossed over Rainbow Bridge on July, 14, 2008.