A 12-YEAR-OLD Labrador has been hailed a ‘miracle’ by the specialist vet who treated him for an inoperable mouth cancer.
To mark World Cancer Day, on February 4, Kathryn Derby, from Rugby, has spoken about how Chiara Penzo, a veterinary oncology specialist at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull helped Bow overcome his plight.
Kathryn admitted she feared the worst when Bow was first diagnosed.
She said: “I was devastated at first. I went to the vets expecting it to be a simple issue and it wasn’t. It was extremely serious.
“I was totally shocked and felt awful that the melanoma in his mouth had got so big without me realising because his tongue had been covering it.
“But when we went to Willows, Chiara spoke to us in depth about the condition and the options we had for treatment, including electrochemotherapy.
“The results have been fantastic. It’s two years now and the melanoma has not reappeared.
“Bow is happy and doing so well. Everyone is amazed by how well he is, when it had initially looked so bad.”
Chiara and the team at Willows use pioneering electrochemotherapy treatment to help Bow.
Chiara said: “Remarkably, Bow is now celebrating two years of being cancer free after receiving electrochemotherapy treatment for a melanoma in his mouth.
“It’s a massive achievement and a miracle we have been able to achieve such a positive outcome, especially in a 12-year-old dog.
“His cancer was inoperable but the rapidly-evolving electrochemotherapy treatment is a new and encouraging way of tackling such cases.
“The beauty of electrochemotherapy is that it allows clever and precise anatomical targeting of the specific site of the cancer.
“This approach means the drug will only attack cancerous cells, unlike normal chemotherapy, which also kills healthy cells so it’s a very effective way of treating the cancer without harming the patient indiscriminately.”