San Diego Rescue Dog Gets 'Pawty' to Celebrate One Year Cancer-Free: 'He Inspires Me'

·2 min read
Phoenix the dog cancer free
Phoenix the dog cancer free

San Diego Humane Society

Phoenix is celebrating an important milestone.

On April 1, the rescue dog pawed into a party put on by San Diego Humane Society's medical team to mark Phoenix's one-year, cancer-free anniversary festively. According to a news release from the San Diego Humane Society, the "pawty" included a dog-friendly peanut butter cake, party hats, plenty of cheers, and lots of hugs at the Pilar & Chuck Bahde Center for Shelter Medicine in El Cajon, California.

The 4-year-old Saint Bernard/shepherd mix has a long history with the San Diego Humane Society. Phoenix first arrived at the rescue as a stray in November 2020, malnourished, covered in fleas, and missing fur. After examining the canine, the San Diego Humane Society veterinary team diagnosed Phoenix with TVT (Transmissible Venereal Tumor), a malignant cancerous tumor.

TVT can be serious if left untreated. Luckily, the rescue caught the cancer early enough to make Phoenix a good candidate for Vincristine chemotherapy. Not wanting to deny a shelter dog the chance to get healthy and find a home, San Diego Humane Society assisted the pup through 13 chemotherapy treatments. After these treatments, Phoenix's cancerous masses had decreased in size, but the dog wasn't cancer-free yet.

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Phoenix the dog cancer free
Phoenix the dog cancer free

San Diego Humane Society

To help the canine treat the remaining cancer, Dr. Colleen Tansey from VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital volunteered to provide electrochemotherapy for Phoenix, commuting twice to San Diego on her days off to give the dog this treatment free of charge.

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"Sometimes it truly takes a village to help the animals, and that's exactly what happened in Phoenix's case," Danielle Clem, DVM, and the hospital director at San Diego Humane Society's San Diego Campus, said in a statement. "Not only did we have an expert come from Los Angeles to help us, we had an incredible foster family who made sure Phoenix was comfortable in between treatments and the entire medical team at San Diego Humane Society involved in his care."

Phoenix the dog cancer free
Phoenix the dog cancer free

San Diego Humane Society

After getting her cancer-free diagnosis, Phoenix was adopted by Colette Troughton, a veterinary assistant at San Diego Humane Society, who helped put on the pooch's anniversary party.

"Phoenix is a big dog with an even bigger personality," said Troughton. "He inspires me to see the good in everyone, and I feel so lucky to get to spend my days with him. I am forever grateful for all the caretakers that showered him with love and made his recovery possible."