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Kudos To Dr. Couto


Guest Fasave
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Guest Fasave

Two years ago, both a friend of mine and myself were given the news that our 8 year old greyhounds had cancer. Interestingly, they both had forms of soft tissue sarcomas on the front of their front legs. Rizzo's was on the left leg, Avalanche's was on the right leg. As we both moved through biopsies and surgeries to remove the growths, we kept our hopes high that this would just be a little hiccup in our boys lives. As it turned out, surgery for Rizzo was not successful in that they couldn't get clean margins. For Avalanche, the results were mixed. They got clean margins BUT not the size that they like to see to say that it was a "successful" surgery.

 

For Rizzo, the next step was radiation. For Avalanche it was the same but being that he was technically cancer free at the moment, it was presented as "optional" to ensure complete treatment. The radiation treatment required 3 consecutive weeks of treatment/5 days per week at a cost of $4,000 - $6,000. The pups would need to be sedated for each treatment. My friend was convinced that there had to be another treatment available and was able to speak to Dr. Couto who fortunately was visiting Boston to do a local lecture. Dr. Couto told her about a chemo treatment where they use a sesame seed oil to inject the chemo drug directly into the incision site. The treatment required 4 shots spaced 1-2 weeks apart. The cost $700-$800. In fact, Dr. Couto stated he hadn't used radiation treatment in this type of soft tissue sarcoma in 7 years.

 

So my friend went to work to try to find a clinic in the Boston MA area that would administer this treatment. With very well-known and respected veterinary facilities like Tufts Veterinary School and Angell Memorial (MSPCA) and even a new specialty clinic New England Veterinary Oncology Group in the area, she felt is was possible. But all these institutions turned her down. No one was willing to try it. So she moved further out of state and finally found a vet in Rhode Island who was very familiar with Dr. Couto's work at OSU and Rizzo's treatment began immediately.

 

Fast forward 2 years and I'm happy to report that Rizzo is doing well and totally enjoying his senior years with no sign of re-growth. For Avalanche, I decided to take the wait and see approach knowing that Rizzo was blazing a trail that we could potentially follow if the time came. As it turns out, in recent months I have noticed Ave's scar is "changing". Not sure if it's scar tissue of re-growth but decided to stay on top of it and made an appointment with Rizzo's vet in Rhode Island.

 

During our visit, I learned that this vet has had great results with this type of chemo treatment and he's been able to offer it to 10 other dogs at his practice. He explained that it was a great option for him to offer his patients because many of them are unable to make the trip to Boston for the treatment plan that radiation requires. Ee is unable to afford the radiation equipment for his clinic so his patients are sent to Boston. He told me I had completely made the right decision for Avalanche two years ago (my biggest fear was that I had failed him) and there are plenty of options still available if this is a re-growth and in general, even if it is, it's unlikely this particular growth will be what gets him in the end. I was so relieved as we discussed our next step of taking a punch biopsy to better understand what is going on.

 

Since our visit last week, I've been thinking about what lessons can be learned from this. First and foremost, be thankful everyday that someone like Dr. Couto is around and working for the welfare of our amazing greyhounds and in doing so, is helping so many others. Secondly, always get a second opinion. Even if you are at a top facility with top-rated vets, it doesn't always mean they have all the answers. Lastly, is a wish. A wish that vets, vet clinics, and vet schools will become more open to research and protocols such as Dr. Coutos. For every Rizzo & Ave, you wonder how many others in similar situations were left untreated or put to sleep because the owners simply didn't have the resources of time, money and knowledge to pursuit other options that could have added years of quality life for their pets.

 

So kudos to Dr. Couto and the team at OSU! May we never forget how special we are to have you as a resource in our lives. Good job everyone!

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Guest boondog

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story and reminding us about being open to second opinions. I hope Rizzo and Avalanche have many happy years.

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Guest bethac

Great news about Rizzo and Avalanche. I feel so lucky to be only 2 hours drive from OSU and Dr. Couto. Both our dogs were spayed/had dentals there immediately after retirement. The OSU animal hospital is an amazing and very busy place. Thanks for sharing this story! :)

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Wow. That is a great story! No wonder you breathed a sigh of relief - I bet you felt like hugging Avalanche and never letting go! :wub: And is that the famous Rizzo? The little 60lb boy with a huge amount of character, belonging to the DeL family?

 

I hope they both continue to do well in the future. Sounds like they're both fighters! :thumbs-up

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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So kudos to Dr. Couto and the team at OSU! May we never forget how special we are to have you as a resource in our lives. Good job everyone!

 

nod.gifbow.gifbow2.gifsmilerocking.gifheadbanger.gifclap.gifyay.gifthumbs-up.gifsmile.gif

 

 

OSU Greyhound Program

 

 

Yay for Avalanche & Rizzo!

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Deirdre with Conor (Daring Pocobueno), Keeva (Kiowa Mimi Mona), & kittehs Gemma & robthomas.

Our beloved angels Faolin & Liath, & kittehs Mona & Caesar. Remembering Bobby, Doc McCoy, & Chip McGrath.

"He feeds you, pets you, adores you, collects your poop in a bag. There's only one explanation: you are a hairy little god." Nick Galifinakis

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Guest Fasave

Wow. That is a great story! No wonder you breathed a sigh of relief - I bet you felt like hugging Avalanche and never letting go! :wub: And is that the famous Rizzo? The little 60lb boy with a huge amount of character, belonging to the DeL family?

 

I hope they both continue to do well in the future. Sounds like they're both fighters! :thumbs-up

 

 

That is hysterical and yes, the famous Rizzo!!! :rofl He really is a very special character and continues to give his parents a hard time. Last time I saw him was a couple of weeks ago on a TBH walk and he was wearing a bandana that said "available for adoption". :rofl :rofl :rofl I didn't ask but clearly Rizzo had been up to some of his tricks that morning.

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Last time I saw him was a couple of weeks ago on a TBH walk and he was wearing a bandana that said "available for adoption". :rofl :rofl :rofl I didn't ask but clearly Rizzo had been up to some of his tricks that morning.

 

 

:spoot:lol ;lol :lol Aw, but he's such a sweetheart! How could you be cross with him for long? Last time I saw him was on Dewey Beach, digging a hole for himself and in the process, burying one of his companions! :lol

 

Were you there with Avalanche?

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Do you mind sharing the name of the RI vet? I always like to be prepared just in case.....Our EZ had a soft-tissue tumor removed about 18 months ago. Clean margins....so far so good, but I always like to be ready of something should change.

gallery_22387_3315_35426.jpg

Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
The WFUBCC honors our beautiful friends at the bridge. Godspeed sweet angels.

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That is a great story and you are right, a huge thankyou to Dr. Coutu and his pioneering efforts in treating and hopefully one day preventing a horrible disease.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Thank you for sharing this story. That is a treatment that I was saving "just in case" for Foxy should she have needed it. Foxy had her surgery when she was 10, and we kept a close eye on her leg for a regrowth. We were very lucky that it never did come back. Miz Foxy left us due to what amounted to old age.

 

Can you PM me a mailing address I have Survivor rings I would like Avalanche and Rizzo to have.

Casual Bling & Hope for Hounds
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Janet & the hounds Maggie and Allen Missing my baby girl Peanut, old soul Jake, quirky Jet, Mama Grandy and my old Diva Miz Foxy; my angel, my inspiration. You all brought so much into my light, and taught me so much about the power of love, you are with me always.
If you get the chance to sit it out or dance.......... I hope you dance! Missing our littlest girl.

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Guest Fasave

Do you mind sharing the name of the RI vet? I always like to be prepared just in case.....Our EZ had a soft-tissue tumor removed about 18 months ago. Clean margins....so far so good, but I always like to be ready of something should change.

 

 

Sure. It was Dr. Hunley at the Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in East Greenwich. Phone number (410) 886-6787. Just as an FYI, it did take me three weeks to get an appointment.

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Guest Fasave

Last time I saw him was a couple of weeks ago on a TBH walk and he was wearing a bandana that said "available for adoption". :rofl :rofl :rofl I didn't ask but clearly Rizzo had been up to some of his tricks that morning.

 

 

:spoot:lol ;lol :lol Aw, but he's such a sweetheart! How could you be cross with him for long? Last time I saw him was on Dewey Beach, digging a hole for himself and in the process, burying one of his companions! :lol

 

Were you there with Avalanche?

 

We could have been there but likely Avalanche would have been firing the sand back at Rizzo as he's an expert hole digger himself. Here's a recent picture of my man Ave.

 

waban2010june019.jpg?t=1278453415

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Do you mind sharing the name of the RI vet? I always like to be prepared just in case.....Our EZ had a soft-tissue tumor removed about 18 months ago. Clean margins....so far so good, but I always like to be ready of something should change.

 

 

Sure. It was Dr. Hunley at the Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in East Greenwich. Phone number (410) 886-6787. Just as an FYI, it did take me three weeks to get an appointment.

 

 

Oh wow, they're right down the street from me. I think that should be 401 area code

Edited by cbudshome

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Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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What an inspiring story! I hope everyone who reads it remembers that second opinions can be very valuable and when Dr. Couto is that second, well, it just doesn't get much better than that. Hopefully those who haven't already made a donation to the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program will do so in order for the program to continue. All privately funded programs are facing grave economic challenges. I pray that our hounds don't suffer as a result.

 

Rizzo always brings a smile to my face and Ave needs a million nose kisses! I'm willing to give him the first one hundred thousand!

 

 

Linda, Mom to Fuzz, Barkley, and the felines Miss Kitty, Simon and Joseph.Waiting at The Bridge: Alex, Josh, Harley, Nikki, Beemer, Anna, Frank, Rachel, my heart & soul, Suze and the best boy ever, Dalton.<p>

:candle ....for all those hounds that are sick, hurt, lost or waiting for their forever homes. SENIORS ROCK :rivethead

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Guest Fasave

Oh wow, they're right down the street from me. I think that should be 401 area code

 

Oops! You're right. It should be 401. Thanks for the catch Claudia!

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[quote name=mychip1' date='06 July

2010 - 04:14 PM' timestamp='1278447250' post='4607901]

Do you mind sharing the name of the RI vet? I always like to be prepared just in case.....Our EZ had a soft-tissue tumor removed about 18 months ago. Clean margins....so far so good, but I always like to be ready of something should change.

 

 

Sure. It was Dr. Hunley at the Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in East Greenwich. Phone number (410) 886-6787. Just as an FYI, it did take me three weeks to get an appointment.

 

Thanks!

gallery_22387_3315_35426.jpg

Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
The WFUBCC honors our beautiful friends at the bridge. Godspeed sweet angels.

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Were you there with Avalanche?

 

We could have been there but likely Avalanche would have been firing the sand back at Rizzo as he's an expert hole digger himself.

 

:lol :lol :lol Good for him! ;)

 

 

Here's a recent picture of my man Ave.

 

waban2010june019.jpg?t=1278453415

 

Oh, he's gorgeous!! I do love those distinguished grey faces! He looks like quite a big lad, too!

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest eaglflyt

Who could ever forget that iconic GT photo of Rizzo-as-sack-of-potatoes??!!

 

I'd sure love to see that if anyone could repost it. :)

 

He's so lovable! :wub:

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