Dog Magazine

Meet Calvin a Cancer Survivor Who Is Celebrating Brain Cancer Awareness Month!

As the world celebrates National Brain Tumor Awareness Month this May, brain tumor survivor Calvin, an eight-year-old French Bulldog belonging to Gretchen and David May of Scottsdale, is happily playing with his favourite crunchy bone toy and playing (chasing) his French Bulldog sister, Olive, around the house.

Gretchen said: “He’s our little miracle dog. Calvin and Olive are our kids. We would do anything for them. We feel incredibly lucky that we had access to SRS (stereotactic surgery) here in Arizona.”

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Already proven successful in human medicine, SRS is now available for pets and providing newfound hope in the fight against cancer.

Calvin’s survivor story began on a Sunday afternoon last September when Gretchen noticed Calvin having a seizure. He was shaking and foaming at the mouth. A trip to the emergency room for overnight observation was followed by a visit to his primary care veterinarian, Travis Nick, DVM, of Scottsdale Ranch Animal Hospital, for evaluation. After some preliminary testing, Calvin was referred to a veterinary neurologist, Jason Evans, MS, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology), at Veterinary Neurological Center in Phoenix, Arizona. There, MRI results revealed that Calvin had a malignant brain tumour. Dr. Evans referred the Mays to PetCure Oncology at Arizona Veterinary Oncology (AVO) in Gilbert, Arizona for further evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologist Eric Boshoven, DVM, DACVR (RO).

After reviewing Calvin’s history and performing a comprehensive exam, Dr. Boshoven walked his owners through all of their available treatment options. Ultimately, he recommended treating the tumour with SRS rather than surgery or chemotherapy. “Calvin successfully completed three SRS sessions,” said Dr. Boshoven. “He suffered a small seizure after his first treatment but none since. Aside from experiencing a slight lightening of his coat, he has had no side effects. An MRI at four months post-treatment showed virtually no sign of the tumor.”

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