February 2015 - JoshOur February patient of the month is the very handsome Josh. He is a 10.5 year old, neutered male, blonde, golden retriever who is such a sweetheart! He first came into VRCC Oncology in August of 2013 with a history of limping for a couple of months, and a lump at his left wrist area. Biopsy results and leg x-rays done at his family veterinarian were suggestive of an aggressive fibrosarcoma. After the initial consultation with Dr. Gustafson, an amputation was the recommended treatment due to the aggressiveness of the tumor. Josh’s family decided to have the leg amputated at the end of August. Final histopathology results confirmed a fibroblastic osteosarcoma, a very aggressive bone tumor that can spread to the lungs. Without chemotherapy treatment, the median survival time is 4 months with amputation alone. Josh’s family shares their story:

“Josh is not our dog nor is he our pet…he is simply part of our family. So when he was diagnosed with cancer, it was devastating…like being told our child was ill. There was no question that we were going to fight for his life. Josh is such a kind and loving innocent soul, we had to do whatever we could to save him!

Every great moment in our lives includes Josh. We got him at 8 weeks old, and our family has been better ever since! He makes us better people just by being around him. We cannot imagine our lives without him and are so thankful for each day we have with him. Josh has gone camping with us, travelled with us, made us laugh, made us cry, comforted us in times of need and gives us love every time we ask! He melts us with those big brown eyes and uses them to get what he wants!

I am so glad we were referred to VRCC for Josh’s cancer treatment. From the moment we met the doctors, we knew he was in good hands. It was decided that we needed to take Josh’s leg in order to save his life, and that he would have to begin chemo after his surgery.

Josh had his front leg taken, and healed so quickly. He is so resilient! He began chemo and tolerated it well. We did everything we could to make him feel better, needless to say, he was overly spoiled during that time (and always)!

It’s been over a year now since Josh finished chemo, and he is cancer free! I think the combination of his incredible spirit, our family giving him endless love, and the unbelievable care he received at VRCC are the reasons that Josh is alive and well right now!”