Cat Saved by a Cancer Treatment for DogsPublished July 22, 2010
The other day I ran across a fascinating article about a 10-year-old cat named Cyrano who was battling cancer in his leg. Since Cyrano weighed in at 28 pounds, if treated conventionally by amputation of the affected limb, his veterinarian was concerned that due to his hefty poundage, he would not be able to get around easily on three legs. Sandy Lerner, his owner, immediately set about researching for any alternative treatments available which might save his life. Through her research, fortunately Sandy discovered Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center. At the University Center, she found veterinarians who offered her the opportunity to try to treat Cyrano, affectionately nicknamed "Ratty". They wanted to try an innovative cancer treatment known as stereotactic radio- surgery, using the machine which had been only used previously on dogs. In an interview with PEOPLEPets.com, Ms. Lerner, co-founder of Cisco Systems and Urban Decay cosmetics said, "They asked if I minded that he would likely be the first cat to do this. But somebody had to be first." Veterinarians decided that along with three radiation treatments, he would receive some chemotherapy. According to the director of operations at the Animal Cancer Center, while this type of cancer is rare in cats, Cyrano's team of veterinarians was definitely ready to undertake the challenge of saving him. She told PEOPLEPets.com, "We looked at all the information, history and treatment options we had available. We'd done this numerous times on dogs, so we applied what we'd learned toward treating Cyrano." Even though the team of veterinarians led by Stephen Withrow was confident in the treatment, they were keenly aware that Cyrano's weight could present an obstacle to a healthy future, if the treatment should prove ineffective. Dr. Hardy said, "We were really concerned about his prognosis as a three-legged cat -- that's a lot of cat to move around on three legs. We thought if we could treat the tumor, and let him keep his legs, it'd be best for everyone." Ms. Lerner and Cyrano stayed in a nearby hotel in Colorado for the duration of the treatments which lasted a week. While she did not reveal the cost of treatment, in commenting about the quality of care Cyrano received from Drs. Withrow, Hardy and the veterinary team, Ms. Lerner remarked, "They couldn't have been kinder, gentler or more caring toward him. They did exactly what they advertised." Considered cured and happily back home now, Cyrano is once again hanging out with his three feline pals and his doggy companion. Ms. Lerner said, "The tumor is just gone. We'll have to go in for regular checkups, and he has another few precautionary chemo treatments to take, but I have so much faith in his doctors. He's hardly missed a beat." Stories like this that have such an optimistic outcome are a joy, don't you agree? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment. Photo via.