COLLARING CANCER; PET-TREATMENT CENTER TO OPEN AT UCLA.Byline: Sherry Joe Crosby Daily News Staff Writer
Reflecting the growing status of pampered pam·per
tr.v. pam·pered, pam·per·ing, pam·pers
1. To treat with excessive indulgence: pampered their child.
2. pets in American households, UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX on Tuesday opened a radiation-oncology center for cancer-stricken dogs and cats.
The new Veterinary Radiation Oncology radiation oncology
The branch of radiology that deals with the use of ionizing radiation to treat cancers.
radiation oncology Facility will treat dogs and cats three days a week on an outpatient basis starting today using surplus equipment from a campus lab.
A monthlong radiation treatment will cost about $3,000.
``Most people consider pets as members of the family,'' said Dr. Edward Gillette, who pioneered veterinary radiation oncology 40 years ago and helped develop the University of California, Los Angeles UCLA comprises the College of Letters and Science (the primary undergraduate college), seven professional schools, and five professional Health Science schools. Since 2001, UCLA has enrolled over 33,000 total students, and that number is steadily rising. , facility.
``They're willing to pay the cost for medical care. The public in this country is well aware of medical advances and they're demanding that care for their animals.''
The single-story west campus building and radiation machine, valued at upward of $1.5 million, was provided by UCLA's department of radiation oncology. Doctors from the Veterinary Centers of America West Los Angeles
Veterinarians don't expect the high costs to deter devoted pet owners. In 1997, Americans spent $7 billion on medical care for their animals, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association American Veterinary Medical Association
a nonprofit, professional organization of veterinarians in the USA, whose stated objective is to advance the science and art of veterinary medicine, including its relationship to public health and agriculture. .
Cancer is the leading cause of death in cats and dogs Cats and Dogs
A slang term referring to speculative stocks that have short or suspicious histories for sales, earnings, dividends, etc.
In a bull market analysts will often mention that everything is going up, even the cats and dogs. , and veterinarians at the center expect 100 to 150 animal patients in the first year.
``Pets are living longer as their owners take better care of them,'' said Dr. Maura O'Brien, a veterinary surgeon at the VCA VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
VCA Victorian College of the Arts (Australia)
VCA Vehicle Certification Agency (UK)
VCA Veiligheids Checklist Aannemers West Los Angeles Animal Hospital who will help treat animals at the new center. ``But this means that pets are at an increased risk for developing cancer at some point.''
Woodland Hills residents Michelle and Robert Pope didn't hesitate to spend $6,000 to treat their 2-1/2-year-old male golden retriever golden retriever, breed of large sporting dog developed primarily in Scotland in the mid-19th cent. It stands about 23 in. (58.4 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 60 to 75 lb (27.2–34.1 kg). , Rio, who was diagnosed last fall with malignant melanoma Malignant Melanoma Definition
Malignant melanoma is a type of cancer arising from the melanocyte cells of the skin. Melanocytes are cells in the skin that produce a pigment called melanin. in his neck. The tumor had spread from his ear through his lymphatic system toward his left shoulder, Michelle Pope said.
``We were both devastated dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. ,'' said Michelle Pope, 35, a communications technology sales manager. ``It was a pretty straight-forward decision. We felt compelled to act quickly.''
With no radiation-oncology center available for animals in the Los Angeles area, the couple sent Rio to a facility for humans in Norwalk that treats dog and cat patients after hours. (The nearest animal radiation-oncology centers are at UC Davis, Colorado State University Colorado State University, at Fort Collins; land-grant with state and federal support; chartered 1870, opened 1879 as an agricultural college, assumed present name in 1957. There is a veterinary teaching hospital, an agricultural campus, and a research campus. and in Tucson, Ariz., doctors said). If the UCLA facility had been available, the Popes said they would have used it.
``The convenience is a big benefit,'' said Pope. ``We could have taken him right in, whereas (with the Norwalk facility) we had to take him in after hours and he had to be taken over in a van with other dogs and cats.''
Although Rio was not treated at the UCLA facility, doctors there will continue to monitor the affable pooch, who is taking a cancer vaccine and appears to be on the mend.
``He's doing fine,'' Pope said. ``There's no loss of appetite loss of appetite Medtalk Anorexia, see there . The results speak for themselves.''
The university decided to transform the building into a cancer treatment center for animals after the radiation-oncology department moved out and replaced an old cobalt radiation machine with a larger model. The machine, which emits radioactive particles that kill cancer cells, will be used on the animals.
UCLA also had received inquiries from the community about treating animals with cancer. After consulting with local veterinarians, UCLA decided to enter into the partnership with VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.
``We thought it would be an ideal location and look at what we would be able to do with this machine,'' said Alice Hacela, vice chairwoman for administration for UCLA's department of radiation oncology. ``This treatment option was available to veterinary medicine. This was ideal for animal medicine.''
UCLA students will be able to observe procedures, she said.
The center will not perform surgery, chemotherapy or other forms of cancer-fighting treatment, said Dr. David Bruyette, medical director of VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.
Veterinarians advise pet owners with pet medical insurance to check with their carriers to see whether radiation treatment is covered.
CHECKING FOR CANCER
To determine whether your dog or cat is suffering from cancer, Dr. David Bruyette, medical director of VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, suggests pet owners look for the following signs in their animals and alert their veterinarian veterinarian /vet·er·i·nar·i·an/ (vet?er-i-nar´e-an) a person trained and authorized to practice veterinary medicine and surgery; a doctor of veterinary medicine.
Sudden or fairly progressive weight loss.
Suspicious lumps or bumps.
Changes in water-drinking habits - either drinking too much water or too little water.
3 photos, box
PHOTO (1 -- color) Dr. Jim Smathers of the Veterinary Radiation Oncology Facility at UCLA demonstrates services with the help of a stuffed puppy.
(2 -- color) Rio, who has been diagnosed with cancer, nuzzles up to Dr. LiAnn Wee.
(3) A fake puppy is used in a presentation at the Veterinary Radiation Oncology Facility at UCLA.
Tom Mendoza/Daily News
Box: Cancer check (see text)