Dora is a very special friend to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital. She is a medium sized mixed breed, has been a friend to us since February 2005 and is one of the nicest little dogs anyone could ever meet. Emily adopted Dora in 2005. A few years after her adoption, she learned that Dora could get her Canine Good Citizenship certification through Wags for Hope. (http://www.wagsforhope.org) Dora and Emily worked hard at completing Dora’s certification, but before they knew it Dora had graduated. Dora brings great joy to anyone she meets. In December of 2011, Dora started visiting two nursing homes in Frederick, MD.
In late February of 2011, Emily brought Dora into Kingsbrook Animal Hospital for a physical exam by her veterinarian Dr. Davis. Emily was concerned that Dora may have a urinary tract infection. Dr. Davis recommended x-rays of Dora to check for bladder stones. Well, Dora did not have any bladder stones, but something else…something they didn’t expect to find. The shape of Dora’s spleen looked abnormal. This was not the news Emily was expecting to hear.
Our friend Dora had a mass that could either be benign or cancerous. Either way, if it ruptured it could cause her to internally bleed to death. Dora had an ultrasound confirming a mass was located on her spleen. More x-rays were taken to be sure it had not spread to other parts of her body. Fortunately, the x-rays were clear. Which meant we could move forward with the needed surgery to remove Dora’s spleen.
On March 11, 2011, Dora had her spleen removed and was discharged later that night. Dora recovered well from her big surgery, but more bad news was to come. Dora’s spleen was sent out for biopsy to determine whether or not it was cancerous…and it was. This was sad news for everyone at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital and for Emily too. The average survival expectancy for a dog with hemangiosarcoma is about 6 weeks without chemo therapy and 6 months for dogs with chemo therapy and fewer than 1% of dogs will live a year. Emily had some big decisions to make about her friend.
Emily decided to pursuit chemo therapy for Dora and she tolerated the treatment very well. To everyone’s surprise Dora has been going strong for almost 3 years! She is such an inspiration to everyone and continues to visit nursing homes, is a Reading Education Assistance Dog (http://www.therapyanimals.org/R.E.A.D.html) and is involved in a program called Project Mickey (http://www.projectmickey.org). We are so fortunate to have Dora with us, she brings joy to everyone she meets…we love you Dora!!!