By Kristine McComis, May 2009
Karen Denbigh from Spencer, West Virginia, became concerned when her 13-year-old cat Barnaby lost a significant amount of weight and was vomiting frequently. She took him to her local veterinarian who examined him and drew blood for laboratory work. Denbigh asked her veterinarian to send the findings to The Ohio State Univeristy Veterinary Medical Center for a consultation. Based upon the results and Barnaby’s continued deterioration, Denbigh hopped in her car at 4 a.m. on a Saturday to take Barnaby to Columbus, a 4-hour drive, for evaluation and treatment.
After a stay in the intensive care unit and more testing, the oncology team, including Dr. Kenji Hosoya, diagnosed the cat with lymphoma affecting the stomach, small bowel and other organs in the abdomen. They recommended chemotherapy. Denbigh made the difficult decision to proceed with chemotherapy after weighing how sick Barnaby was, the likely prognosis and the possible side-effects. Much to everyone’s delight, Barnaby responded very positively to the therapy.
Nearly a year after the treatment Barnaby was doing remarkably well, reached a healthy weight, had a normal appetite and activity level, and came in once every three months for re-checks. Our clinicians instructed Denbigh how to give her cat the chemotherapy medication at home in between visits, and she periodically visits her local vet as well.
“Barnaby responded beautifully to the treatment,” Denbigh declared. “He has gained his weight back and looks and acts great.” Denbigh encourages others to follow through with testing and cancer treatment for their pets. “If I hadn’t taken him to Ohio State, he wouldn’t be with me today,” she said. “It has been worth every dime.”