When life is challenging, hearing other people’s experiences can be encouraging and normalizing. These generous and loving pet parents have opened their hearts and stories to you so that you can get in touch with the hope in your own heart. It is our hope that they help you and your beloved pet. If you have a story about you and your pet’s experience at Veterinary Cancer Care, please email it along with photos to info@vetcancercare.com so that we can use it to help others.

Wonder Dog, Wonder Doc

I am Zack, aka Wonder Dog.  I am 14 ½ years old, a senior citizen plus, if you measure in human years. I am a Cocker Spaniel, black and white, and love my Dad and Mom and they love me.  They found out I had a tumor in my bladder and the discovery came with bad news about me not having long to live, which worried them a lot.  My first vet sent me to Dr. Kelly.  I had many problems when I met her.  Besides the bladder tumor, I had a 1 ½ pound fatty tumor under my front leg, many sebaceous warts on my body, arthritis in my legs and paws, an ear infection that my parents did not know about—I was in a lot of pain and the pain medications were not working.  I was very sick and slept all day and was not interested in much of anything.

Then came Wonder Doc, my friend Dr. Kelly.  I’ll call her W.D. for short.  W.D. looked me over real good and began working her magic. She told my parents that I was going to be fine and live out my life as naturally and as long as possible, but we needed to do a lot of work.

W.D. likes to work on the whole “Wonder Dog.”  So she gave me lots of vitamins and minerals–changed my diet and began treating the whole me.

W.D. began by removing the tumor under my front leg, which made it easier for me to walk.  W.D. then removed the unsightly warts from all over my body.  I went from looking just handsome to downright good looking.

Treating my arthritis was next— I had two cruciate ligament surgeries, a hip replacement and years of arthritis treatment.  W.D. started using a medication called Adequan and then Pentosan, normally used on horses, to help regrow the degenerated cartilage in my joints.  After 4 months, I no longer limp and have been able to quit taking pain medication.  My legs and paws are stronger—this was good because when my Dad took me to the tow yard and I could walk all over the place, sniffing everything, getting really dirty and having a great time.

W.D. gave me chemotherapy for my bladder tumor and it began to shrink.  Because W.D. is so thorough, she discovered I also had an anal gland tumor (I had one of these when I was two years old, too.)  W.D. knows a lot about tumors and put me in a study using Immunociden for my bladder tumor and my butt tumor.  Too make things more complicated, she also found a tumor in my lungs. But she has it all under control.

W.D. and her friends at the clinic are a good team.  I used to shake all over when I went to the vet, but I like W.D.’s place.  I like her voice.  Her friends, Brian and Patrick and Megan are super—always there to answer my parent’s questions. We are best buddies. I became a new dog when I met Dr. Kelly, aka Wonder Doc.

They call me Wonder Dog because I have been through so much and am doing so well.  I appreciate W.D. because she uses doses of therapy that keep my tumors under control and I get to enjoy my car rides every day.  I wait for my Mom to come home at night so we can have fortune cookies together. I love my lunch, lying on the grass, playing with the laser light—and still like a good nap.  Thanks to meeting Wonder Doc, I get to be Wonder Dog.


Toni Victoria

My name is Toni Victoria. I am named after my Grandma Toni and my Aunt Vickie. I also have vaccine associated sarcoma. On Monday January 11, 2016, my mom noticed a lump on the stump on my left leg, (I was born with a deformed left foot and it fell off when I was only a few weeks old). We were at the veterinarian by Wednesday of that same week for a biopsy and by Friday I was diagnosed with cancer. At that time it was explained to me that it was most likely a vaccine associated sarcoma. My mommy was crushed. We just recently lost my daddy to lung cancer. My daddy was a decorated Vietnam veteran who suffered from multiple service connected disabilities. He died in July of 2014 due to complications from Agent Orange exposure. We all miss him very, very much.

My mom took me to a few vets to get a plan on what to do. I am a 10 year old cat, but knew that I needed to be up to the challenge, because my mom was so scared that she was going to lose me too! On Monday, February 3rd, Dr. Hudgell performed an amazing surgery and the pathology said that we had clear margins, but the tumor was a high grade fibrosarcoma, so further treatment was advised. My prognosis at that time was guarded. My mom was hoping for better.

We were sent to Veterinary Cancer Care in Santa Fe for the next part of my treatment. We knew it looked grim. By this time my mom had done a ton of reading on my type of cancer and knew it wasn’t good. Dr. Kelly offered us hope and although it was a bit touch and go in the beginning, after a few months we were able to get ahead of the cancer and show some real progress. I had numerous rounds of intravenous chemotherapy, as well as local chemotherapy. I had two sessions of freezing also. I have had multiple x-rays, bloodwork, and an ultrasound and to date I show no spread of the cancer. In fact, I got a clean bill of health from Dr. Kelly and was told that I don’t need her anymore!! This is good because I am not a good traveler. I peed and pooped and threw up every time we had to go to the doctor. Now I take Xanax for car rides.

Dr. Kelly and her amazing staff saved my life. This amazing treatment doesn’t come cheap. It has cost my mom a pretty penny to keep me alive, but we have had the blessing of two charities who stepped up to offer us financial assistance: the Vaccine Associated Sarcoma Fund and The Athena Fund. Wow!! I can’t tell you how much that has helped my mom pay for my cancer care.

Thank you very much,

Toni Victoria

a.k.a. Toni 3-Legs