December 2014 - Sir JacksonSir Jackson is our December 2014 patient of the month. He is a 10 year old, neutered male, Schnauzer who is just the sweetest boy! Jackson was in to see his family veterinarian for a routine exam and vaccines, when a left sided anal sac mass was palpated. An aspirate of the mass was performed and sent off for cytology, the results came back positive for an anal sac adenocarcinoma. Jackson and his mom came to consult with Dr. Elmslie in November 2013. An abdominal ultrasound was performed, and no signs of metastasis were present. Surgery was recommended to remove the tumor with the possibility of follow up treatment depending on the width of the surgical margins. Jackson’s mom shares her story:

“Jackson’s cancer was discovered in November 2013. His family veterinarian became alarmed by a small palpable bump upon rectal exam, so a sample was collected. The very next day the doctor received a disturbing finding from the lab, adenocarcinoma. It was a shock to our family- in all of the 9 years of his life, Jackson had never gotten sick; he was so very active, puppy-like and healthy, and there were no symptoms whatsoever!

Guided by our veterinarian’s recommendation, we contacted Dr. Elmslie at the VRCC immediately.  After visiting with her, a plan was constructed and executed instantly; it was like driving on a German highway at 120 miles an hour!!!

One week after his initial diagnosis, Jackson underwent surgery to have the mass removed with Dr. VanVechten in the surgery department (at VRCC). The tumor was removed, but with narrow, clear surgical margins.

After Jackson recovered from surgery (in no time!), Dr. Elmslie wanted to make sure no microscopic disease was left behind, so Jackson’s next step was radiation treatment with Dr. Gustafson. To minimize the radiation damage to healthy tissue, Dr. Gustafson decided to do image guided radiation treatment planning. Jackson had a CT scan and based on the images, Dr. Gustafson planned the precise dose exposure for his rectum and adjunct lymph nodes. Radiation treatment took over 3 weeks, and every morning I drove him to the VRCC for a quick anesthesia and radiation. We think, by the end of the 3rd week in January 2014, Jackson actually took all this fuss and attention for granted and very much enjoyed all of the kisses from Cheryl and the Radiation Oncology team. He even enjoyed his morning naps under anesthesia! I was exhausted…but met so many other pet parents completely dedicated to their babies and ready to do anything and everything to bring them back to health.

It was a very intense journey to a cancer-free life for Jackson and for us. But thanks to all his doctors, it was not scary at all. Jackson always looks forward to his follow-up appointments with Dr. Elmslie (every 4 months) to make sure he remains in complete remission.

We just want to say thank you to everyone at VRCC as well as the team at Jackson’s family veterinarian for all of the wonderful care, love, expertise and knowledge. Jackson is doing great!”