When Peyton, a sweet 8-year-old Boxer, experienced two seizures in a day, her family rushed her to the vet, where she experienced dozens more 10-second seizures. The vet suggested that Peyton’s human caretakers, Rob and Renee Henderson, take the dog to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Purdue University immediately, because “there was definitely something neurological going on.”
At the hospital, Peyton was sedated while they performed an MRI. That was a Friday. The results came back on Monday, and the Hendersons drove back to the university to receive the news in person — it was that bad. They were informed that Peyton was suffering from a brain tumor and had only a month to live. Even with surgery, there were no guarantees. The Hendersons were devastated.
The following day, however, the family received a phone call from Timothy Bentley, the veterinary neurosurgeon at Purdue who had seen Peyton. He wanted to know whether the Hendersons were willing to let Peyton participate in their canine brain-tumor clinical trials program. The procedure included using a sample of her glioma tumor as a vaccine against it. Additionally, the expensive surgery and subsequent chemotherapy would be free.
Peyton’s participation will help not only other dogs, but humans who are suffering from gliomas and other brain tumors as well.
Following surgery, Peyton lost vision in her right eye, but is otherwise doing well. She is no longer experiencing seizures, and Dr. Bentley calls her progress a complete success.
While the trials have yet to reach conclusive results, Peyton is certainly benefiting from them, and will go down in the annals of medicine as a humble canine companion who has proved how much we need dogs in our lives.