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New noninvasive cancer treatment at a Florida vet saved a beloved dog's life

The treatment is used on mast cell tumors.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Our beloved four-legged friends are not immune to cancer, but there is a new treatment that is saving lives and saving money for pet owners. 

It's a noninvasive cancer treatment for dogs with mast cell tumors. 

Washington State University’s vet hospital says account for 20% of all skin tumors in dogs. It’s the type Hank beat.

First Coast News met up with Hank 7 weeks after his cancer treatment. His owner Katie Green noticed a lump on his paw.

You can only see the scar now, but what was there threatened his life.

“Especially the location and the size that he had would’ve either been a full leg amputation or radiation treatment which would’ve been about 10,000 dollars to do," Green said. "And his treatment was less than a thousand which is much more accessible to people.”

Green found an alternative called Stelfonta. It's an injection right into the tumor.

“The medication brings in cells from the patient’s immune system and together they kill all of the cancer cells and it basically kind of rots from the inside out," Green said, 

She knows this because she is also his veterinarian at Intracoastal West Veterinary Hospital. 

“You can’t separate our feelings too much. Part of you is like this is very interesting and it’s science," Green said. "But then you wake up in the morning like oh man my dog has cancer. You have that moment that it’s scary and sad even when you understand it.”

Green wants people to have the same chance to save their dog's life.

The FDA approved Stelfonta in late 2020, so it is new, but Green says this is groundbreaking and changes the way they fight cancer.

Hank was their first patient to use the treatment. Since then, Green says they have treated one more dog and have had success. 

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