In Success Stories

Aries, an 11-year-old Malamute, started seeing WVRC’s Dr. Hopp for acupuncture to help with stumbling and energy levels, as well as nasal congestion. Aries received a Chinese diagnosis of generalized qi deficiency, which is a loss and misdirection of energy that occurs as pets age. Common medical conditions with this diagnosis are arthritis, fatigue, loss of energy & appetite, nasal discharge, cough, development of masses/tumors, clouding of the eyes, dental disease, and lethargy.

At the same time, a small mass was found on Aries’ lip, which was removed by her family veterinarian and sent out for pathology. Unfortunately, results showed that the mass was cancerous. This malignant melanoma was both locally invasive and had a high rate of metastasis. Therefore, Dr. Wirth, one of our board-certified oncologists, determined that Aries would need to have a second surgery to remove the remaining cancer cells and get clean margins, as well as a melanoma vaccine to reduce the likelihood of the melanoma returning.

While waiting for the appointment to remove the mass on Aries’ lip, her owner found another mass on the tip of her tail. An aspirate was taken and test results indicated that it was benign (whew!), but because it was a constant nuisance to Aries, it was determined that it should be removed.

Aires had quite the team of doctors ready for her on surgery day. Dr. Shipley, our board-certified anesthesiologist, was on hand to administer and monitor anesthesia. Dr. Schamberger, our board-certified dentist, skillfully removed the cancerous tissue on her lip. Dr. Hurley, one of our board-certified surgeons, removed the tip of her tail to remove the mass that had grown there. And Dr. Wirth oversaw Aries’ medical care for the day and administered her melanoma vaccine.

After a few weeks of rest and recuperation, Aries was looking great and there was no evidence of tumor recurrence nor cancer spread!! Aries still receives acupuncture from Dr. Hopp for ongoing management of her GI tract and to increase her mobility. We love seeing Aries when she visits and are so happy that she is still in remission!

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