Internal Medicine: Nook

Nook, a five-year old neutered male Siberian Husky, presented to the Internal Medicine Service as an emergent referral in February, 2006. Earlier, Nook had been scheduled for further evaluation of a six-month history of chronic unilateral right-sided nasal discharge and facial pain. In the two weeks prior to referral, Nook suffered several episodes of unilateral right-sided epistaxis and increasing nasal discharge resulting in a rapidly dropping hematocrit, hence his referral status was upgraded to emergent. His medical history did not indicate prior health issues, particularly bleeding problems or coagulopathy.

In September 2005, Nook developed thick unilateral right-sided nasal discharge, which, at that point, was not bloody. In October, his family veterinarian arranged for a nasal CT scan, rhinoscopy and nasal biopsy which were performed locally. At that time, the abnormalities noted on nasal CT by the consulting Radiologist consisted of increased soft tissue/fluid surrounding his nasal turbinates … Continue reading

What’s new in cancer therapy?

Canine oral melanoma treatment

Canine melanoma has been traditionally treated with surgery and/or radiation therapy for the local tumor, surrounding tissues and regional lymph nodes. Canine oral melanoma is extremely resistant to chemotherapy and adjunct chemotherapy may do little to prolong survival. The diagnosis of canine oral melanoma is a devastating diagnosis for owners and veterinarians alike as the survival time of dogs with advanced melanoma (stages II through IV) that are treated only with surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy is often less than five months.

The recent development and conditional licensure of the canine oral melanoma vaccine manufactured by Merial by the USDA has been a breakthrough in the treatment of this disease and in vaccine cancer therapy. The vaccine uses a DNA plasmid expressing the human tyrosinase gene. Tyrosinase is a protein that is overexpressed on melanoma cells. The human tyrosinase used in this vaccine is different enough from … Continue reading