Thank you for your kind words.
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 scroll to the bottoms of this page to submit a photo.
We would strongly recommend Dr. Kelly to any dog or cat owner willing and able to put the well being of the animal, whether is a cancer patient or not, a little above the monetary considerations that often guide the care given by other veterinary clinics.
My husband Mark and I love dogs. We already had Mr. Buster (we call him Buzz), a true gentleman of a Sheltie. We thought we‘d find a good companion for him. After research, dog shows and discussions with breeders, we adopted a beautiful 5 month old Bernese Mountain Dog in 2012. We named her Daisy, from Snoopy’s humble beginnings at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. Her breeder described her as the one with “an outgoing personality.” We weren’t sure what that meant at the time but adopted her anyway, the last of her litter.
The day we picked her up in Paso Robles, California, it was 108 degrees. But that didn’t faze her. She ran out to greet us with her happy, goofy energy, legs flying everywhere. If you looked up playful exuberance in the dictionary, you’d find Daisy’s picture.
Through our research we were well aware of the health issues with Berners but felt that if we treated her well and kept her close to our hearts, nothing could harm her.
Daisy’s a tough pup. Over the past five years she’s been through major surgeries to remove a leash handle lodged between her stomach and intestine (2012), and a TPLO to take care of a damaged ligament (2016). Along with all the other typical ailments dogs experience, Daisy had always managed to bounce back to her happy self.
After a trip to Red River in July 2017, she started peeing and drinking water frequently. Thinking it might be a bladder infection, our regular vet prescribed antibiotics – which didn’t work. Then came the urine, fecal and blood tests and ultrasound imaging by a specialist for possible glandular problems. This dragged on for weeks as Daisy got weaker and thinner, and lost her happy energy. The day she refused her normal dog food our hearts sank. She is usually a ravenous eater, so we knew something was horribly wrong. But nothing was definitive. The specialist vet took an X-ray of Daisy’s chest and found a large neoplastic mass in one lobe and a spot on the other lobe. This vet basically said, “I am sorry, her best days are behind her. There’s nothing more we can do.”
Mark and I stared at each other. Daisy was our lifeline and this vet was willing to give up on her, but we weren’t. That evening Mark researched veterinary oncologists in the state of New Mexico and discovered Jeannette Kelly in Santa Fe. We made the appointment and consulted with Dr. Kelly within 2 days. Her approach is cancer management through holistic approaches to treatment. Daisy received chemotherapy and immune system trigger Immunocidin every other week for 5 weeks. Following Dr. Kelly’s recommendations and our own research, we prepared her meals from scratch to incorporate food that nourishes Daisy while starving the cancer.
After the primary treatment Daisy is, as Dr. Kelly says, a rock star! She once again eats like a baby horse, and has gained back 10 percent of her body weight. X-rays and ultrasound show her large tumor shrank by 4.5cm from 15cm. And she’s enjoying hikes in the Sandias, travels through Idaho and Wyoming for the solar eclipse, and just being our happy, goofy girl at home in Albuquerque.
Daisy has given us so much that there was no way we were going to let her just slip out of our lives.
She’s currently on low-dose chemo maintenance and seems to be doing very well. The lesson was reinforced for us: you are your dog’s best advocate – it’s up to you to do whatever it takes to help them.
Along with Dr. Kelly’s specialized cancer treatment for lymphoma, Bridget was prescribed some very valuable supplements that have kept her in incredible shape, physically and mentally. We can’t thank Dr. Kelly and her team enough for what she has done for Bridget.
Many thanks from Sandy, Carol, and Bridget
Today, we carry on Athena’s memory through an emergency relief fund at the Santa Fe Community Foundation. The Athena Fund has been established to provide supplemental funds to pet owners to help offset the cost of cancer care for their pets. At Veterinary Cancer Care, we have been asked over and over if there is an easy way to help other families facing pet cancer. If you would like to donate please consider the Athena Fund. Donations to the Athena Fund can be made through the Santa Fe Community Foundation in 4 easy steps.
- Visit the Santa Fe Community Foundation Give Now page
- Type Athena Fund into Fund Search box
- Fill out the amount, donor acknowledgement (if desired), and memorial tribute information.
- Finally, enter your payment information.
“For it is in giving that we receive” Francis of Assisi
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.
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,
a.k.a. Toni 3-Legs
Dr Kelly and her staff are amazing. She has made my German Shepherd girl Lexi’s quality of life so much since being treated by Dr Kelly and her staff. I would recommend them to everyone.
I want to thank Dr Kelley, Megan, and the entire staff at Veterinary Cancer Care for their amazing care and treatment of my Golden Retriever, Buck.
Almost 2 years ago, Buck was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left, front leg. I began to search for the best help I could get. I ended up at Veterinary Cancer Care in Santa Fe, NM, 700 miles away.
While they made sure in recognized that the cancer would eventually claim Buck, that we, together could likely provide him with a good quality of life for a while longer.
Buck got a very extensive checkup in Santa Fe last Thursday that revealed no recurrence of the cancer so far. Buck is a very happy, healthy boy. Thanks, Veterinary Cancer Care! We couldn’t have made it this far without you!!!
Wonderful staff. Absolutely love it here. We will be making the trip from Las Cruces, NM again and again. Thank you
Very loving took very good care of my cat PUELLA through her cancer.