Pet Spotlight! The Story of Goya
Goya was diagnosed with cancer. His owners decided to turn to acupuncture to help him with his disease.
Goya is a wonderful 12-year-old male pit bull terrier. He is the happiest and sweetest boy ever! Goya has been my patient for years. Before he was my patient he was diagnosed with cutaneous Hemagiosarcoma that has been managed by surgically removing the masses as they develop.
In January I saw him and noticed that his lymph nodes had become significantly enlarged, and unfortunately, after doing a needle biopsy on the lymph nodes my worst fear became true. Goya was diagnosed with multicentric lymphoma.
Lymphoma describes a group of cancers that are derived from a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. The term multi-centric lymphoma refers to lymphoma that shows up initially in the lymph nodes. With chemotherapy treatment, the median survival time is 6-12 months, and a small percentage of cases can live up to 2 years. Without any treatment, the average survival time is 4-6 weeks, but with prednisone treatment alone 50% of patients can survive 2-4 months.
After his diagnosis, he was put on prednisone for therapy. Goya’s owners decided that they didn’t want to put him through extensive chemotherapy and wanted a more holistic approach, so we started doing acupuncture treatments in April.
It has been my experience working with dogs with multi-centric lymphoma, that without chemotherapy they waste away over a period of a few months until they die or are euthanized. It has been 8 months since Goya’s diagnosis. In addition to the acupuncture treatments, he was placed on herbal supplements and has had some dietary adjustments that include adding in some fresh foods to help nourish his body better. He has responded amazingly well! Not only is he still surviving, but he is stronger than ever! His lymph nodes have all shrunken down to almost normal size. He is so full of energy every time I see him. He has surpassed his expected survival time.
I am very proud to be Goya’s doctor, and to see him continue to thrive. We know that eventually the cancer will take its toll, but until then we will continue to keep Goya as strong and happy as possible. Seeing how well he has responded to treatment, is why I am in this profession and why I began practicing Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. I can give my patients other non-conventional options for treatment.
If there is a similar situation that is going on with your pet, Chinese medicine is a very powerful tool! Not only can it help extend the time you have to spend with your beloved pet, It can allow the last days of life to be as comfortable and pain free as possible.
If you have any questions about this, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Dr. Tierra K. Hawley