Thursday, October 10, 2013

Media Hog

Yes, I am a media hound! Again!!
On Saturday October 5, 2013 I was a "top story" BOL
Thank you reporter Ms. Erika
and the OC Register.
read it again mom.
Can you read again too? and again...
Benny & Lily



Veterinarians are seeing an increasing number of dog owners not giving up on their patient pets.

Benny, a French bulldog fighting liver cancer, is the first dog to get a TinySuperHeroes cape, which usually go to kids who show strength while overcoming illness or disability.
Veterinarian Mona Rosenberg gets a welcome from Coco Chanel, a 10-year-old boxer with cancer, owned by Jonabette Tuma of Newport Beach and nephew Owen Markovich.
Saul Betancourt Jr., 35, of Whittier, who has leukemia, shakes the paw of Buster, a therapy dog, in his room at PIH Health Hospital in Whittier. Buster visits every Friday.
Benny, a French bulldog fighting liver lymphoma, isn’t just a champion among dogs. He’s a hero among humans, too.
Recently, the 6-year-old dog got a one-of-a-kind national distinction –
he was named a “Tiny Super Hero” and given a custom cape with a “B” for Benny.
Benny got the cape from Robyn Rosenberger, founder of the Seattle-based Rosenberger founded the support group to recognize kids fighting cancer and other traumatic diseases. Children – and Benny –received nominations by friends and family for staying in the fight and living with joy.
“With the capes, I want to tell them to know they’re not alone,” Rosenberger said. “The idea of the superhero cape isn’t that they are beyond normal; it’s that they are accomplishing things that go beyond normal.”
Rosenberger said she was impressed by the dedication she witnessed from Andrea Cavallo – Benny’s mom. When Benny turned yellow and nearly died from liver failure in June, Cavallo did all she could to save the little guy.
A blood plasma donation and three days in intensive care at Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Irvine saved his life. When she learned his liver was full of cancer – she refused to give up and began aggressive treatments with Dr. Oceane Aubry.
Cavallo is among an increasing number of pet owners in recent years not willing to give up on canine cancer. What’s learned through scientific research, advancements in diagnosis and care as well as treatment in humans, is translated to pets – specifically canines – because of their similar physiology.
The number of veterinarians board-certified in specialties related to cancer has increased sixfold in the past two decades, according to The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Veterinary students are opting for internships and residencies in specialty fields such as oncology. There are 286 oncologists registered with the ACVIM. That number is expected to triple in the next 20 years.
In Southern California, 25 oncologists are practicing at clinics from Ventura to San Diego. With more specialization and advances in veterinary medicines, animals are living longer. Just as in humans, the older the animals become, the more they are prone to getting cancer. Experts say 50 percent of dogs over the age of 10 will likely die from cancer.
Federally approved drugs specific for canine use are helping develop better treatment options with drug dosing controlled for animal use. Research learned at veterinary schools such as UC Davis, Auburn University and Colorado State University is coordinated with medical schools leading to results that can be broadened into human uses.
In the 1980s, research on limb-sparing procedures on dogs with bone cancer was later used for humans. A vaccine used to treat melanoma in dogs is being used to treat people.
“Cancer is shared between humans and dogs,” said Dr. Michael Kent, associate director for the Center for Companion Animal Health at UC Davis. A lot of tumor types overlap. (They
have) similar organ systems, that’s why dogs make such a good model of human cancer. Chemo protocols are very similar. If you look at a tumor, you can’t tell the difference if it’s human or a dog.”
A study at Purdue University is comparing forms of bladder cancer in humans and canines. Lymphoma is common in dogs and remains difficult to treat in people. Joint university projects among veterinary and medical schools are developing therapies that will direct drugs to tumors without bathing the entire body in chemotherapy, Kent said. Some of this research is being funded by the National Canine Cancer Foundation.
“Cancer is very smart; we have to work around it and trick it,” he said. “That’s why traditional therapies fail. How do you target it in unique ways? There’s lots of comparative research going on in humans and canines.”
The U.S. National Institutes of Health reports that each year 6 million new cancer diagnoses are made in dogs and cats. The most typical cancers include lymphoma, prostrate cancer, head and neck cancers, melanoma and bone cancer.
Dr. Matthew Wheaton, a Laguna Beach second-generation veterinarian who operates Alicia Pet Care Center in Mission Viejo, sees more than 6,000 dogs a year. He diagnoses cancer in dogs almost every other day. Some are severe and life-threatening such as osteosarcoma, others are locally aggressive lesions that could become a big health threat if they’re not addressed.
“Client awareness of cancers in pets has increased over the past decade which allows for an earlier diagnosis, thereby improving patient survival times with a cancer diagnosis,” Wheaton said. “We are seeing an increase in disease, but we are also noting attempts by owners to avoid cancers through better nutritional choices and increased use of supplements that discourage oxidative damage to cells which is one of the main pathways to cancer causing mutations.”
Animal experts say the bond formed between humans and pets is growing stronger and is significant when it comes to decisions to prolong dogs’ lives.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increasing number of households have pets, and 81 percent of people with pets consider them equal in status to other family members. While consumer spending dipped after the economy crashed in 2007, spending on pets held steady.
Cancer treatment therapies can range from the hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars. Treatments also require time commitments and follow through. The pet owner caregiver has to keep strict routines, prepare special diets and, just like in humans, might need to be up through the night with a sick dog.
Dr. Mona Rosenberg, who founded The Veterinary Cancer Group – with hospitals based in Tustin and Culver City, is dedicated to fighting cancer in pets. Rosenberg went into oncology as a resident after veterinary school in 1988 and has stayed with it since. She focuses on the patient but also on the owner. Rosenberg was the first board certified oncologist in Southern California.
“There were a lot of animals getting cancer,” she said. “It allowed me to understand the relationship that people have with pets and learn about the ones that want to take the steps to treat their pets. I felt I was making a difference in people’s lives. Just because pets get cancer doesn’t mean it’s terminal. In some cases they are getting one to five years. I had a lymphoma patient that lived for 12 years.”
Rosenberg’s clinic is set up to provide a soothing environment for both dogs and owners. The human animal bond can be intense and Rosenberg recognizes the need to provide a place where animals with a terminal illness can feel comfortable.
“Most people who choose to treat their pets aren’t rich but are middle or upper middle-class,” Rosenberg said. “They will forgo dinners or vacations. I had a family whose dog needed radiation and the kids did a fundraiser. These kids went to the end of the Earth to try and treat their pet.”
The economy and cancer treatment costs play a role in people’s decision to treat. In 2006, Rosenberg had 2,206 new patients. Those numbers tapered off over the next few years. Many who would have treated were unable to afford it, she said. For 2013, Rosenberg expects she will treat 2,526 new patients.
Rosenberg points to Cindy White, a client whose dog Buster, has fought back two types of cancer in the last six years. Earlier this year, he was diagnosed with lymphoma like Benny. Despite aggressive treatments including having his jaw removed, White takes Buster to visit cancer patients at PIH Health, a hospital in Whittier, every Friday.
White, an out-of-work waitress, said she doesn’t look at the cost anymore. Not treating isn’t an option. She forgoes trips or dinners out. Over the years, she’s spent tens of thousands of dollars on his care.
“I’m an animal lover,” White said. “The joy he gives to people here at the hospital and everywhere he goes is amazing. When I put his therapy collar on and he walks through the hospital doors, his chest just puffs out. I don’t know if he knows he’s giving other people joy, but I do know everywhere he goes, people smile, hug him and give him treats.”
One of those patients was Saul Betancourt Jr., a 35-year-old father of two.
Buster came into his room as he was being prepped to receive arsenic intravenously to attack leukemia he was diagnosed with in May.
Buster lifted his paw and gave Betancourt a high five.
With his eyes shining, Betancourt learned that Buster was getting chemo just like he was.
“If another species can go through it and still do tricks, there’s no reason I can’t be smiling,” he said.
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  1. Benny!! You is a famous celeb! We're proud to know you - and proud tho know you're Fighting Like a Frenchie!! Keep it up!

    -Bart, Ruby and Otto

  2. Well done deserve the attention for being so brave. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Hey Benny!
    Wow, you are my favorite celebrity EVER! Congrats on the article.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

  4. Hey Benny, publicity like this is good for you and for other "kids" that have this problem. Greater awareness helps us all.

  5. Oh damn.... hugs to you Benny and Andrea! The cape looks good on you, but wish you didn't need it:(

  6. Great post.
    We had a boxer stuck by cancer (stage II mast cell tumors) when he was six we had it removed and treated twice and he lived a great active life until he passed at age 13 (which is actually a long life for boxers )
    So glad people are doing more now for dogs with cancer. Very best wishes.

  7. You're not onle the top story, you are THE TOP DOG for me. ...and my hero!

  8. We'll be saying "we knew him when"! Grreat job at inspiring others.

  9. Wishin' you coulda been famous for something else. The big C is a Bi*ch!

  10. Continue to FLAF Benny! You are our hero, and we are keeping our paws crossed! We love you!

  11. Ohhh Benny-
    you are brave and you are my hero- no doubt about it.

  12. HEY HANDSOME...OMFBDs Benny you are the most wonderful spokesperson and everyone just loves you perpetual smiling face. KEEP ON FIGHTING LIKE A FRENCHIE!

  13. We are so pleased everyone is getting to know you and how to help out Benny!
    You are a great advert about how dogs with cancer can live a happy life with treatment.
    Dip Bridge and Elliot x

  14. Benny , you are our FIGHTING FRENCHY Poster Boy fur SURE. WE are so PROUD of YOU and YOUR MOM. We think you DESERVE to have your story told. It is FULL of ♥Love♥ an HOPE.

  15. Keep Fighting Like A Frenchie, Benny and enjoy that
    media spotlight :)

  16. Hi hi hi! Ojo here! You are famous! You are a good spokes-Dog to encourage other Dogs to be brave. I hope you are feeling better!

  17. Benny you AND your Mom are Hero's in our eyes.
    Bailey, Hazel & Greta

  18. That's fantastic, Benny, no wonder you want to hear it again...and again.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  19. Benny, we are so honored to know you and to be your furiend..Can you read it again..BOL xxooxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  20. Benny, I might have said this before, but even though you are a woofie you are my hero!! Keep fighting buddy xox

  21. Howdy Benny and Lily, we love knowing someone famous! Your story will give others inspiration! Take care little mate. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  22. Benny you are a big sweetheart.
    Sue B

  23. You are an inspiration to so many, Benny ♥

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  24. Benny, we are sure you are going to appear on Leno one of these days too!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  25. You let other people know about the good fight Benny. Proud of you! Lee and Phod

  26. I'm glad that he's a media hog! I hope that more people follow your example, and fight when there's a chance! K and I fought just like you, Benny. You're doing so well. You rock!

  27. Nothing wrong with being a media hog!!!!

    Stop on by for a visit

  28. You are the Super Hero Benny!!
    Keep fighting, we are all cheering for you!!


  29. Well done Benny you're an inspiration,xx Speedy

  30. We are very honored to know you Benny!! You truly are an inspiration to us all!! xo Chloe and LadyBug

  31. You ARE famous now Benny... There's no wonder... You's a loveable guy!


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