In a collaboration between Penn and the Monell Chemical Sciences Centers, Ohlin and McBain (above) and Thunder (left) will use their noses to detect the disease in humans.
Ovarian cancer kills more than 14,000 women every year and is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the nation.
The collaboration, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, takes aim at the silent killer with a combination of chemistry, nanotechnology — and dogs.
Canines have been detecting lung and breast cancer for years. With an $80,000 grant from the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation, the new project will assess their effectiveness in sniffing out ovarian cancer, and continue an investigation that has been underway in Sweden.
The Swedish professor behind that project, who was using his own dogs for the study, is retiring. But he’s lending his expertise to those involved in the Penn project.
“He’s been advising us along the way to we don’t repeat the same mistakes he made along the way,” said Dr. Cynthia Otto, director of the Working Dog Center and Associate Professor of Critical Care at Penn Vet.
While the disease is often difficult to diagnose, ovarian cancer’s victims have a survival rate of 90 percent. No effective screening protocol yet exists to detect cases in the early stages.
In the new program, scientists from Penn Medicine’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology will take tissue and blood samples from both healthy and ovarian cancer patients. The samples will be analyzed by chemists, scientists, computers and the puppies at the Working Dog Center, who will be exposed to healthy samples and cancer samples in vented containers they can’t access, but can smell.
The dogs began their training at 8-weeks of age.
“They’re all fabulous and they are very strong in olfaction,” Otto said.
(Photos: Philadelphia Inqurer)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 9th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cancer, cancer sniffing, chocolate labs, collaboration, detect, detecting, detection, dog, dogs, Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation, mcbain, medicine, Monell Chemical Sciences Centers, ohlin, ovarian, ovarian cancer, penn, pets, project, research, science, sniff, sniffing, springer spaniel, study, thunder, university of pennsylvania, working dog center
A North Carolina woman who spent her final days trying to find homes for the 34 rescued cats and dog that lived with her may be resting more easily now.
All but one of the animals — Lilly, shown above — have been adopted, WRAL reports.
Susan Lee of Wake Forest, an independent animal rescuer, died earlier this year after a battle with cancer, but not before putting out a plea to family, friends and the public to adopt the dogs and cats she called ”Susan’s Sweethearts.”
Mike And Doreen Smith adopted Bruiser, an energetic 80-pound dog with one blue eye and one brown eye.
Ryan Wood, who heard about Susan’s Sweethearts from a friend, adopted Buddy. “He was unlike any of the other dogs. It’s hard to explain. It was love,” Wood said.
Karen Croom, a friend of Lee who promised her she’d get all of the animals adopted, said only one dog remains — a black Lab named Lilly, who, while good with people, is looking for a home with no other pets.
(Photo: Susan’s Sweethearts)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, animal rescue, animal rescuer, animals, bruiser, buddy, cancer, cats, death, dogs, homes, lilly, north carolina, pets, rescue, susan lee, susans sweethearts, wake forest
A Maryland dog who was adopted by a member of the U.S. Senate — and who went on to become a familiar and soothing presence in that chamber’s hallowed and often contentious halls — has died.
Dakota, a bichon frise, was adopted by former North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad and his wife, Lucy, in the spring of 2009 from a rescue shelter in Maryland
Conrad confirmed Sunday that Dakota died last week, due to complications from lymphoma, Inforum.com reported.
During Conrad’s time on Capitol Hill, Dakota was popular among lawmakers, staffers and reporters, and he was once dubbed the “101st senator” by NBC’s Brian Williams.
“He went to work with me every day,” Conrad said. “People just took to him. To have an animal in that setting, it warmed people up. It made them feel more at home.”
Conrad said the dog’s calm disposition had the power to soothe seething lawmakers.
“In some of our (budget) negotiations, colleagues would call and ask if I could bring Dakota. He calmed everyone down.”
Dakota was diagnosed with the lymphoma in September 2011, and had fought the disease for a year and a half.
In the past eight months, Conrad and Dakota had flown four times to Houston, where the dog was participating in a T-cell cancer research project at the University of Texas’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
“He was part of experiments that are very important, that they think could help save many people’s lives,” Conrad said.
While his prognosis was promising, the cancer returned and last week Conrad was informed that Dakota probably only had a few days left.
“He was such a jaunty, confident and happy little dog,” Conrad said. “And he was cute – he just put a smile on people’s faces. And so that’s how I’ll remember him.
“He improved people’s days. He certainly improved mine.”
(Photo: Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, animals, bichon frise, calm, cancer, dakota, death, dies, dog, dogs, kent conrad, lymphoma, maryland, north dakota, pets, politics, rescued, senate, senator, soothing, washington
Susan Lee, of Wake Forest, independently rescued animals for 35 years, according to WRAL in Raleigh.
Lee, 55, had undergone radiation twice – each time coming back to the home where she grew up to care for her animals, hundreds of which she took in over the years. She learned in December that the cancer had spread to her brain.
In an interview with WRAL News last week, Lee said she wanted to make sure her “fur kids” were well cared for if something happened to her. She’d set up a website before her death in hopes of finding homes for the animals still in her care.
In the interview, she said she would stay home and look out for her pets as long as possible, even though she was growing weaker.
“I love this place. My mom has been blessed, I’ve been blessed to live here,” she said as a dog walked over to lick her face — one of the eight dogs and six cats she was still trying to find homes for last week.
Lee said her cancer strengthened her faith, made her grateful for each day and strengthened her bond with her animals, which included special-needs horses.
“I hope there will never be a day that I’m alive that I don’t have an animal with me,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, cancer, cats, death, dogs, fur kids, homes, horses, north carolina, pets, rescue, rescuer, susan lee, wake forest, website
Kabang, the dog who lost half her snout saving two young girls, appears to have beaten cancer, getting one step closer to the surgical procedures that veterinarians hope will close the gaping wound on her face.
Kabang had the upper half of her snout sheared off when she jumped in front of a speeding motorcycle in the Philippines, saving her owner’s daughter and niece from injury.
She ended up at the University of California, Davis, after a nurse in New York launched a fundraising campaign to bring her to the U.S. for treatment.
Veterinarians at UC Davis plan two to three surgeries that, while they won’t restore her face, will make it more functional and less prone to infection. But those couldn’t be done until Kabang’s other problems were addressed, including cancer and heartworms.
After completing six weekly intravenous chemotherapy infusions, Kabang appears to have beaten the cancer, Gina Davis, the primary care veterinarian at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Davis, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Vets are now addressing the issue of heartworms, which couldn’t be fully treated during her chemotherapy. The first of three heartworm shots was administered on Dec. 4, and she’s expected to receive the other two in the second week of January, Davis said.
“It will be one to two months for her to recover from that before she goes in and has the surgery,” Davis said.
The first surgery will involve dental work, extractions and covering exposed roots. The others will try to close the dog’s wound and restore nasal functions. The dog’s bony structures are currently exposed to air, increasing the chance of infection, Davis said.
“She has come through everything very well,” Davis said. “Her appetite is still good. She’s still bright and happy.”
(Photo: Don Preisler, UC Davis)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, cancer, davis, dog, dogs, heartworms, hero, kabang, motorcycle, pets, philippines, snout, surgery, uc davis, university of california, veterinary
Five days before she made history in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren put down the golden retriever whose dignity and grace helped her cope with the often nasty senatorial campaign, and much more.
The emotional mix that the first female senator in Massachusetts was faced with in the final days of her campaign — seeing one’s political star rising while one’s dog is dying – was recounted last week in column by Brian McGrory in the Boston Globe.
Otis, Warren’s cancer-stricken golden retriever, was loyal, true, non-judgmental, honest, dignified and simple — in other words (and this is our opinion) everything politics is not.
Based on her description, quiet moments with her ailing dog brought her solace during the rough and tumble campaign.
“It’s the lack of complication,” Warren said. “I could spend time just running my hands through Otis’s coat, drawing circles in his short fur, and thumping him on the side, his big hollow chest, you know that sound. It’s possible to get lost in there. And that’s what I needed.”
Otis is described as an inseparable companion, who often accompanied Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, to their jobs at Harvard University.
“He was with Warren in fall 2011 when she declared her campaign for the Senate. He was there as controversies flared, as accusations were leveled, as attack ads filled the airwaves. Polls rose and fell, criticisms alternated with compliments, but always there was Otis, blinking excitedly as Warren came through the door at the end of the day and always ready for a walk.”
Otis was diagnosed with lymphoma in the spring. He was undergoing chemotherapy. The treatments, which at first appeared to be working, later lost their effectiveness.
On Halloween night, Otis watched trick or treaters come and go, too weak to get up off the floor. By the end of the night, Warren and Mann were convinced it was time to let Otis go.
“I called Warren after her victory to see if she wanted to talk about this quiet loss in the final days of a very public campaign. It hurt her to talk about, but in an hour-long phone call this week, one filled with her laughter and her tears, she did.
“She described ‘the white fur ball with big feet’ that arrived at her house 7½ years ago, the casual way he would approach his many admirers, how the ground used to all but shake from his heavy gait.”
On Oct. 28, Warren posted the photo above on Facebook. On Nov. 1, Otis was euthanized at Angell Memorial Hospital. On Nov. 6, Warren was elected as the first female senator from Massachusetts.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, cancer, chemotherapy, death, died, dog, dogs, election, elizabeth warren, euthanasia, euthanized, female, first, golden retriever, lymphoma, massachusetts, otis, pets, politics, senate, senator
Sometimes, our powerful connection with a dog is the result of another powerful connection that was lost.
Such is the case with Joe Guinta of Newark, Ohio, who plans to spend his last cent, and then some, to fight the cancer that has stricken Hunter, an 11-year-old mixed breed that belonged to his son.
Levi Guinta was killed in 2005 in a car accident. He was 22.
“Being that Levi was my only child, he was all I had,” Guinta explained to the Newark Advocate. “Hunter and I are very close. We now call him Daddy’s Boy.”
Six weeks ago, Guinta took Hunter — a husky-shepherd mix — to the veterinarian because he was unexplainedly losing weight. The vet, after some follow up visits, eventually diagnosed cancer.
Hunter has been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma, and has a mass on his chest and a lump near his penis. He has been put on steroids, and has had two of a scheduled 16 chemotherapy treatments.
While the dog’s outlook is improving, Guinta, a salesman for Bath Fitters, paid by commission, has struggled to cover the costs. “I owe it to him,” Guinta said, referring to the dog. “I took that responsibility on when I took over his care.”
Guinta is getting some help from the Magic Bullet Fund, which is helps families who can’t afford the cost of treating their pets raise the money to do so.
The organization was started in New York by Laurie Kaplan, author of “Help Your Dog Fight Cancer.” When her dog, Bullet, got cancer, she was able to raise the money to get him treated. He lived four more years, to the age of 14, before he died of natural causes.
The Magic Bullet Fund now helps other people raise money to pay for their dog’s treatments. Once approved, the campaign for the dog is announced on the MBF website and Facebook. A volunteer helps the family raise money, as well. The information is listed on the website for one month.
“In the seven years we’ve been around, we’ve been able to help 210 dogs,” Kaplan said. “We get requests to help between 40 to 50 dogs a year”
Guinta applied and was accepted. Hunter’s information will appear on the website and people can donate to Hunter directly for 30 days.
Fundraising isn’t new to Guinta. Since his son’s death, he has conducted annual golf tournaments, raising more than $20,000 which he has donated to The Food Pantry Network of Licking County.
Guinta, 49, found Hunter in 2001 on the side of the road, and — after seeking his owner — brought him home to his son.
Hunter is now Guinta’s constant companion and often accompanies him to the cemetery to visit Levi’s grave.
” … I will sell everything I have and go bankrupt in order to treat my dog,” Guinta said. “There is nothing more important than making sure he lives. I will do whatever I have to do.”
(Photo: Jason Lenhart / The Advocate)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cancer, canine, care, chemotherapy, costs, death, dog, dogs, facebook, fundraising, health, hunter, joe guinta, laurie kaplan, magic bullet fund, pets, sickness, treatments, veterinary
So we are all in when it comes to the decision by newlyweds Clare and Ceri Morgan of south Wales to can their honeymoon and pay for cancer treatment for their dog Teeto instead.
After their wedding, the Morgans, of Swansea, were due to fly to Las Vegas when they discovered their five-year-old American bulldog Teeto had cancer and need his leg amputated, as well as chemotherapy treatments.
That’s where the honeymoon money went.
“Teeto had to come first,” Ceri Morgan, 36, is quoted as saying in this BBC report. “We had no hesitation, we had to use the money for his vets bills,” he said.
“We told the vet that it didn’t matter about the money, just do whatever it takes to make him better,” said Clare Morgan, 26. “We can go on honeymoon again when we’ve saved up, but a dog is for life and we want Teeto around for a lot longer.”
Teeto had his rightfront leg amputated and underwent a course of chemotherapy to fight the cancer in his right shoulder. They report he is doing well.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amputation, animals, cancel, cancer, canine, ceri morgan, clare morgan, couple, dog, dogs, honeymoon, investments, las vegas, money, pets, skips, teeto, treatment, vacation, wales
A rescue group in Singapore couldn’t save Ol’ Boy, but they tried to make his final moments happy, fulfilling a wish that he reportedly expressed to rescuers through an animal communicator — to live, however briefly, in a real home.
According to the video, the dog, too far gone to be saved, passed along his desire to spend the final days of his life in a real home.
The dog was thought to have spent years living on the streets, surviving on water dripping from air conditioners and scraps of food from shopkeepers. He was covered with hundreds of ticks, and suspected of having cancer. Many of his teeth were chipped or missing.
Members of the rescue organization, after taking him to a veterinarian, where a blood transfusion didn’t seem to help, declined to have him put to sleep and took him home.
“We stayed by his side, patting him whenever he cried in discomfort,” his caretakers say in their video. “That was all he wanted.”
One night at 2 a.m., Ol’ Boy sat up to take several sips on water, the video says. But he died two hours later.
The group’s members scattered rose petals on Ol’ Boy’s body and, after having him cremated, scattered his ashes in a local field that overlooked a beach — also in accordance with the message the animal communicator received.
Save Our Street Dogs works to rescue Singapore’s stray dogs. They hope that the video will bring more attention and sympathy to their cause.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal communicator, animals, ashes, beach, cancer, cremated, dog, dogs, dying, dying wish, field, final wish, last wish, ol' boy, old boy, pets, real home, rescue, rescued, rescuers, save our street dogs, sick, singapore, stray, stray dogs, street dog, street dogs, video
But it turned out not be hers.
And it turned out to have been dyed pink for a good cause — dyeing for a cause being slightly more tolerable than dyeing for no reason at all.
So like a lot of celebrity stories, it wasn’t much of a story at all.
Initial reports said Watson owned the dog, which was described by the Daily Mail as “a shocking shade of bubblegum pink.”
That article and others quoted PETA officials and veterinarians who questioned the practice, as well as the groomer who pinkified the dog, who says the vegetable-based dyes he uses are harmless.
Some news reports called the dog, named Darcy, a Maltese, others referred to her as a bichon frise.
But the 23-year-old Harry Potter star got on Twitter to magically set the record straight: She doesn’t own a dog. She was just walking Darcy for a friend, who had the dog temporarily dyed pink in connection with a breast cancer research fundraiser.
(Photo: GoffPhotos.com / Daily Mail)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: actress, animals, bichon frise, breast cancer, cancer, dog, dogs, dye, dyed, dyeing, emma watson, fundraising, groomer, london, maltese, news, pets, pink, research, walking