Clinic specializes in treating cancer in pets

Animal Cancer Care Clinic 1 of 2 clinics in Florida with radiation machine for animals

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Animal Cancer Care Clinic in Fort Lauderdale specializes in treating cancer in furry and four-legged patients.

"We can pretty much mimic or sort of replicate the state-of-the-art treatment that is provided to human patients," said veterinary radiation oncologist Pedro Dominguez.

The clinic has one of two radiation machine in the state of Florida that's reserved for animals.

"We treat brain cancer, nasal cancer. We treat lung cancer, liver cancer. We treat colon-rectal cancer," said Dominguez.

Cancer is the number one cause of death among dogs and cats older than 10 years.

Shelly Swetnam has treated five of her pets -- three cats and two dogs -- with chemotherapy.

"It's been life changing," she said. "She lived for about five months, but five quality months... She was a tougher case but she got about three months... One of my cats got three years. The other cat looks like she's going to be on the same track. She's doing so well."

"When we do treat them for cancer, what we really want to do is improve their quality of life or maintain the quality of life, if it's still there, for as long as possible," said Dominguez.

The clinic also teaches pet owners to do home exams.

"Look at their gums, look at their teeth, look inside their mouth, check their eyes, feel their glands, and overall feel their entire body and make sure they don't have any kind of growths," said Dominguez.

Radiation treatment costs $3,000 to $7,000. Chemotherapy costs $2,000 to $3,000.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.