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Image of Reggie, a black dog holding a yellow ball in its mouth.

Study Investigators: Dr. Brenda Coomber and Dr. Paul Woods

Study Title: Collection of Samples from Dogs Diagnosed with Cancer and Not Scheduled to Undergo Surgery for Tumour Removal

Generously Supported by: PetDx

Reggie’s family noticed a soft swelling on his nose, bleeding from his left nostril and an increased amount of sneezing. Both a visible mass and bleeding from any bodily opening can be warning signs of cancer. Once being assessed by his regular veterinarian; Reggie was referred to OVC for further testing and he was diagnosed with nasal carcinoma.

Image of Reggie, a black dog wearing sunglasses.

Nasal tumours are uncommon and account for about 1% of all cancers in dogs. It is typically a disease of older (>10 years), medium to large sized dogs. These tumours may occur more frequently in breeds that are dolichocephalic (long skull and face) such as Collies and German Shepherds.

Nasal tumours do not usually metastasize (or spread) to other parts of the body, but they will often spread locally within the nasal and/or oral cavity. Local tumour growth can be quite painful. Typical treatment for nasal tumours helps to control growth of the tumour and alleviate clinical signs.

A computed tomography (CT) scan of a dog's (Reggie's) tumour. The tumour can be seen in the hard palate (roof of mouth).

The clinicians at OVC used computed tomography (CT) imaging to get more information about the location and extent of Reggie’s tumour.

His tumour was very aggressive and located in his nose and the upper part of his throat. In his CT scan, we could see that the tumour had spread locally causing lysis (break down) of the hard palate (roof of his mouth).

Reggie’s treatment plan included Radiation Therapy with the OVC Oncology service under the care of Drs Poirier and Farmer. His last treatment was Fall 2020 and he’s doing great!

Reggie does not like going to the veterinarian and can be very nervous during his appointments. We make sure he gets lots of snuggles and attention while he is at the hospital (pictured here with Deirdre, our biobank coordinator).

His mom has shared that Reggie loves visiting with all his ‘girlfriends’ on the OVC Oncology and Clinical Trials teams! He gets very excited when he comes for his appointments and we are always very happy to see his sweet face.

Cute black dog (Reggie) snuggling with OVC veterinarian.

Most often, cancer in our pets is diagnosed at an advanced stage. When the disease has already progressed, there may be limited treatment options and the chances of a cure are low.

For the last year, Reggie has visited OVC at regular intervals for blood collection appointments with our Clinical Trials Research Technician. Collected samples from Reggie will be used to help other pets by increasing our understanding of the disease process and supporting the development of a non-invasive test for early detection of cancer!

Test tube with blood.

Edit: February 2023

From his loving mama: “Knowledge is everything and I’m glad Reg can share his story. This has been a journey with OVC and we got so much more time with him than we expected. I can’t thank the teams involved with Reg’s care enough. It means the world that you continue to check in to see how he is doing – I’m so touched that he has had this effect on others.”

It’s been over two years since Reg had his treatment and unfortunately his disease has progressed. We are sending pawsitivity his way and hold his family in our thoughts.