Skip to comments.Dog gets stem cell transplant
Posted on 04/07/2005 5:11:46 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
Dog gets stem cell transplant
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. (AP) -- Darrell and Nina Hallett love their dog Comet and have reached deeply into their wallets to prove it.
The couple spent $45,000 on a stem cell transplant for their golden retriever, who is recovering from lymphoma, a type of cancer that attacks the immune system.
Dr. Edmund Sullivan, a Bellingham veterinarian, performed the transplant last summer, using stem cells from another golden retriever.
Sue Hendrickson, a friend of the Halletts, owns Comet's mother and 11 other dogs. She spent months tracking down 40 of Comet's relatives to donate blood, eventually finding three perfect matches.
She flew to Florida to get Rico, the biggest of the three and the one who could yield the most stem cells, and delivered him to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which donated advice and facilities for the transplant.
The cancer center has performed hundreds of bone-marrow or stem-cell transplants on dogs over the past four decades, as researchers perfected techniques used to treat cancer in humans.
Comet's transplant happened in June. After a long, steady recovery, he appears to be showing signs that he's been cured.
God takes care of his critters and provides a home for them. Sad but true. Losing a dog was always a horrific event but I think this goes beyond what is reasonable.
Think about it as private donation for research. Not excessive spending on a pet. I love dogs but can't afford that type of expense. I have to provide for my family first.
However those who have money and no children will often spend the type of money on a loved pet as they would have had on a child.
Besides, it is their money to waste as they choose..
Our golden/brittany mix, Samantha, developed lymphoma, and we tried chemotherapy. Sam kept going into and out of remission and after 3 months we were forced to put her down. I have no idea how much we spent; I never totaled the bills, 'cause she was worth it.
Looking back, I don't believe we would do it again. It was hard on the dog and hard on us. Two months after Sam died we adopted another 'older' dog, Gypsy. There are always 'thrown away' dogs who need homes; and 'the hole in one's heart' left by a dog's death, can be filled by tending to a new dog.
If these folks can afford it, more power to them, but this dog will not live forever. Ultimately, they will have a hole in their hearts left by this dog's death and they will discover that healing will occur with a new dog.
Apparently, this stem cell experiment was completed without the use of little dogie embryos too.
One of my friends had a stem cell transplant for lymphoma. The stem cells came from one of his bothers. Chris was close to death after the transplant and suddenly, on Christmas day, his numbers started to climb to where they should be. He looks great, works every day and now has curly hair like his brother.
I just spent $2,500. trying (and failing) to keep my Jack Russell Terrier alive, but as much as I loved her, I don't think I would have spent $45,000. These people must be loaded.
I told my husband before we got little Daisy that anything she needed we were going to get for her, as long as we could afford it without going into debt. If she broke her little leg she would have all the surgery she needed (within reason)...but at the same time, we don't have children to support, etc... $45,000 is a little bit excessive...but if they have it, it's their's to do with as they please I suppose.
That's the way I look at it!
We have lost track of what we've spent since last September when our young schnauzer was diagnosed with diabetes. Between blood curve tests, special food, insulin, lab work, exams and the latest was $2000 for catarat surgery. I look at it this way, we could have blown this money on a one week vacation but instead chose to use it to help "our family member"
Our Lab just had surgery for laryngeal paralysis (was going to suffocate and her airway was 3mm at the time of surgery) which ran us about $2700 total.
We've gotten a lot of snide comments from people about "why bother" but there was nothing else wrong with her. She's 11, but other than some hip arthritis is in fine shape. The choice was put down an otherwise healthy dog, let her suffocate, or do the surgery.
When we got her we made the commitment to fix what we could fix on her, if it broke and if it wasn't fixable then to let her go. This was fixable.
45K is a different story, though - we just don't have that kind of cash. Even what we paid for the dog surgery taxed our finances.
Next time we'll talk about getting pet insurance, though ::lol::, we were shocked at the bill from this episode.
Well, it is in the kill-the-babies, save-the-whales state.
It's because that doesn't work.
Since we also felt the bite (bad pun) vet bills can take on a savings account I understand your situation. We had a choice, to let a 5 year old schnauzer go blind or elect for cataract surgery. We also had "well meaning" friends make comments or roll their eyes at the expense since it's "only a dog" ("just get another one" mentality).
But I have to admit, I might check into pet insurance next time too.
Glad to hear it. Did his hair type actually change?
I wasn't doubting the technique, I was waxing sarcastic towards the liberals seeming fixation of using the bodies of the unborn for the source.
I love my cats (Pink & Floyd BTW), but there is a limit.
"If she broke her little leg she would have all the surgery she needed (within reason)...."
I agree. Treating a dog for a broken leg is one thing. I would certainly do that. Maybe anything that is quickly mendable or short-term. But cancer treatments for a dog . . . .
I can understand someone's love for a pet, but when I think of so many humans who lack the money to treat serious & life-threatening disorders, I can never go that far.
I have frequently seen patients recover their hair after chemotherapy. It is not unusual for the hair to come back thick, dark and curley.
I do not know why. It just happens now and then.
I think in the long run, we will be using family matches. What I believe they are trying to do with the embryos is to get neutral organs which don't require a "match". It amounts to creating "organ factories" which is "sick". The problem remains that when they coax these embyos, they still use mice for "hosts" and that means the possibility of mixed species. That little item is hidden in some old text which I did find on the web at one time and I believe they were part of congressional hearings.
I'm glad you friend recovered. I don't know if the DNA is truly mixed afterwords or it's as Tasman said that it's not uncommon after therapy. If so, family donors would seem the ideal.
I have to disagree with your statement above though. An 'organ factory' is a crude name, but is not sick in itself. Growing a new organ for those in need is an ideal solution over the harvesting of body parts after death.
The methods and sources of those organs can indeed be sick, evidenced in the liberal wish to collect human children to do so. It stands though if a new organ is possible then an acceptable way should be found to do it.
Totally agreed. This is the most success I've ever heard about any stem cell treatment. I'm glad they did it and it has been reported. Good for them.