My Story

Do you have a story to share about your experience at the WSU VTH?

We would love to hear from you.

Email your story and photo to Kay Glaser at kayann@vetmed.wsu.edu

  • Kaylee (Fall 2013)


    ...by Lynette B

    Kaylee

    Kaylee Sleeping

    Kaylee and Friend

    Kaylee Running

    While vacationing in the Southwest in October of 2011, we noticed a slight swelling on Kaylee's muzzle. We thought that perhaps she had been stung by a bee, but when we checked inside her mouth, the swelling was a hard, olive sized area over her canine tooth. We sent IPhone photos to our vet, Dr. Don Canfield, and brought her in for an exam as soon as we returned home.

    Dr. Canfield noticed that the tooth was beginning to get loose and suggested pulling it, which we did the following day. He sent tissue samples for pathology studies that came back reporting that Kaylee had a fibro-sarcoma. He suggested that we immediately call WSU, which we did that day and were able to get her an appointment in mid November.

    Kaylee had surgery to remove several of her upper teeth, and the tumor, to the midline of her muzzle. She recuperated at home in Puget Sound over Thanksgiving and then went back to WSU for the month of December for radiation treatments. She was lucky enough to spend nearly every night with Kristi, a student who fell in love with her - which helped our frame of mind as much as Kaylee's!

    Kaylee came home on Christmas Eve - best Christmas gift ever! Her face was raw from the radiation and was itchy as healing took place but she was good about wearing the 'cone of humiliation' and not scratching her wound.

    We are now one and a half years post surgery and she has bounced back remarkably. We take 8-15 mile hikes in the Olympics, long walks on the beach and cross country camping trips. She proudly wears her crimson and grey "Cancer Survivor" scarf and name tag as she enthusiastically greets everyone with her "Elvis smile". We rescued a companion Malamute-mix for her, as well as the 3 cats that he had raised. The 5 of them are inseparable and sleep all piled up on each other and play endlessly together.

    We are so grateful to all the doctors and staff at WSU for their care and compassion - toward Kaylee and toward us as we were trying to wrap our minds around her disease and its repercussions. She is now 10 years old and we have cherished every minute of our gifted 18 additional months, and look forward to many more months (and hopefully years) of laughing at her antics, hiking in the mountains and running on the beach.

    Thank you WSU!!!

    Doctors: Fidel, Choy, Campbell and Kennedy
    Staff: Kay Glaser and Betsy Wheeler
    Students: Kristi, April and Cori

    Lynette and Craig, Kaylee, Buck, Toby, Tanner and Tucker




  • Monty (December 2013)


    Monty and Friend

    Monty

    Lee and Monty

    ...by Lise & Rick M.

     

    It was just after Christmas 2013 that my girlfriend, Lori, who raises toy poodles phoned me to let me know she had a very sick puppy that was about 4 months old at the time. We named the puppy Monty and he was diagnosed with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), which is a heart defect that he was born with. Without correction of the PDA, Monty could develop congestive heart failure, a complication of heart disease, and die within a year.

    We live in Vancouver, BC, Canada and found a surgeon who would operate on him. During his surgery he started to hemorrhage and had three staples placed near his heart. We discovered sadly that his heart murmur was still present as the surgery was unsuccessful.

    During this time I had offered to look after Monty and nurse him back to health. He was so affectionate and loving that everyone who met him felt a connection with him. My girlfriend Lori was up late worrying about him and decided to contact the Washington State University Veterinary Program. We couldn’t believe it when Dr. Pamela Lee a noted cardiologist contacted us.

    After discussing the case with Dr. Lee, we made the decision to drive to WSU. Our beautiful puppy Monty would probably not last the year if there was no intervention done. And at this point he had won both of our hearts and we couldn’t imagine not doing everything in our power to give him hope.

    The care at WSU was unbelievable....from the staff at the front reception room to the vet technicians, vet students and finally the wonderful cardiology staff. Monty had his surgery where Dr. Melissa Tropf and Dr. Pamela Lee successfully occluded/blocked the flow of blood that was leaking from his heart using a minimally invasive procedure. I cannot thank them enough.

    It took us a full day of driving each way to get to WSU and I would have gladly driven across the country for the care that we received from the staff. It takes some pretty special people to go into veterinary medicine, especially cardiology. And I sincerely believe that the best ones teach at WSU. Every night, just as I fall asleep....Monty curls up beside me and the last thing I do is put my hand on his heart and say a quiet thank you that he is with me. And I am able to do this only because of the wonderful and kind people that work, learn and teach at Washington State University.




 

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