New cancer treatment could save "man's best friend"

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It's the new medicine that could save the life of man's best friend. This week, the FDA approved Palladia, the first approved cancer treatment specifically designed for dogs. The oral therapy developed by Pfizer will not be available until next year, but the potential use of this drug is still getting the attention veterinarians and dog owners.

By the look of him, you wouldn't know it. Thursday day marks the sixth cancer tumor surgery for little Tater, a Boston Terrier.

"It just breaks my heart to see him like this," said Betty Hudson, Tater's owner. "Poor little baby."

Hudson says despite his multiple surgeries...

"It's so sad with all these places all over him and like I say, you got to doctor him and take care of all that and give him pills," said Hudson.

The little guy is still going strong.

"He loves to play frizby, but that's kind of hard when he's got all of these cuts all over him, but he manages to get through it," said Hudson.

And, Hudson, along with Tator's veterinarian, Keith Owings, are hoping the new cancer treatment, Palladia will help tater get through too.

"Tater has had a problem with these cutaneous mass cell tumors for quite a while," said Owings. "This particular medication if it's effective would certainly be a benefit to him and reduce the number of surgeries."

The drug works by killing tumor cells, like Tater's. In a clinical study, 60 percent of dogs who took the drug had their tumors disappear, shrink, or stop growing.

"It's great for veterinarian medicine being a specific medication, for a specific type of cancer and giving us another option that we didn't have," said Owings.

"I really would like to try it," said Hudson. "I think it would be great because the thought of loosing him...I just love him so much, me and my husband do."

A loved nine-year-old dog who, like a cat, has had nine lives.

"[He's] still going strong," said Hudson. "You can't keep a good dog down."

Pfizer warns there are side effects of the drug. Right now, the company isn't releasing the drug's price tag until latter this summer.

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