As with many dog owners, I wanted to find the best veterinary care for my senior dog when I found out he had a recurrence of Spindle Cell Sarcoma. He had a spindle cell tumor removed in 2012. We had a good prognosis post surgery; I knew there was a likelihood the tumor could return and if we were lucky not for another couple of years. Unfortunately, a year after surgery and just a few months after relocating to Vegas I noticed a lump in the same spot where the original tumor was removed. I didn’t know who to talk to and luckily came across the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center. Not only do they offer expertise in treating cancer in pets, they offer a wide range of care including rehabilitative services. Local TV Channel 13 recognized the LVVSC as the “ …Mayo Clinic of veterinary care…”
I was very impressed with their facility and in particular the demeanor of the staff, all friendly and caring from the front desk, to the technicians to the doctors. My senior dog and I met with Dr. Vaughn, who after reviewing the previous medical records took the time to explain the options I had with the recurrence of the spindle cell tumor. As I listened to Dr. Vaughn, I felt like I was in an amazingly helpful class, watching and listening to Dr. Vaughn explain his drawing of the tumor, how the spindle cells grow and then describing the different options available to address the tumor.
Options ranged from palliative care, surgery to remove the tumor, or surgery to remove the tumor followed by chemotherapy. What stood out most was the care taken to describe my choices and the recommendation to take time to make the decision. There was no sway in taking any particular approach other than to follow what I felt was best for my senior and for me, financially and emotionally. A year earlier, before connecting with the SFSPCA for the original removal of the spindle cell tumor, I’d been to a different veterinary organization who pressured me not just in the approach to address the cancer, but “encouraged” me to get additional back leg surgery for my large 13 year old senior, a pretty shameless tactic for more business.
I made the decision to have the spindle cell tumor removed one more time. Unfortunately, between the time we had our first consultation, some monitoring and the date set for surgery, my senior developed new and different lumps. I wanted to have the additional lumps removed if it was viable, during the planned surgery. It turned out my senior had developed hemangiosarcoma, which is a very aggressive form of cancer in canines where the cancer cells grow along the lining of the blood vessels. My senior remained in the care of the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialist Center for four days after surgery and made an amazing bounce back from his surgery. Not only that, although I had him in for intravenous chemo treatments post op, he still seemed to be on a path to recovery, however long that would last. I was hopeful.
Sweet Guy Looking for Treats Post Surgery
Unfortunately, hemangiosarcoma is difficult to fight, after two chemo sessions, we decided to stop treatment. I considered palliative care, and was encouraged to consider the worst option possible, euthanasia. At the time I wanted to do everything I could to save my big buddy. Two weeks later, I made the painful decision, but the right one, to let him go. I contacted Waggin’ Wheels Mobile Clinic in Las Vegas and Dr. Pierce came to my home to help me set my senior free. Dr. Pierce is a very caring, professional and thoughtful veterinarian who talks you through what is about to happen to make the process as swift and painless as possible (physically and emotionally). Thanks to the amazing veterinarians, technicians and front office staff I met in Las Vegas, we made it through the toughest times you can experience with a beloved four legged companion. I don’t know if other locations do this, but I was very moved and surprised to receive this gift from the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialist Center, with a card signed by the doctors, technicians and administrative staff sharing their personal condolences. With no doubt, this is an organization that cares about the community they are serving.
The Las Vegas Veterinary Specialist Center is located at 8650 W. Tropicana Avenue, Ste. B-107, Las Vegas, NV 89147, (702) 871-1152.
Waggin’ Wheels Mobile Clinic can be reached at (702) 808-7387.