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August 2006 Patient: Margarita

Margarita is a 5 year old Chihuahua who started coming to Midway Animal Hospital in 2002 for her puppy wellness visits and vaccinations. Margarita was free of any serious health problems until she came to us in August of 2006 for evaluation of a skin mass which was growing between the toes of her right front paw.

The mass was very small, about 3 millimeters diameter, and surgical excision was performed. Margarita came through her surgery without complications, and the mass was sent to a veterinary pathologist to determine a diagnosis.

While Margarita was healing well after surgery, the pathology report came back with bad news: the mass was a mast cell tumor (a malignant type of skin cancer) and excision was incomplete (tumor cells remained in her skin).

Because of the location of this tumor on Margarita’s tiny toes, there was no room to attempt a second surgery to remove the remaining cancerous cells. Margarita’s owner, Susan, was of course distraught over the diagnosis. Margarita was only 4 years old at the time of diagnosis, and Susan felt that she had a lot more living to do. In search of treatment, Margarita was referred to Florida Veterinary Specialists (FVS) in Tampa, FL. The veterinarians at FVS performed multiple tests and determined that the cancer had not spread to any other sites such as bone marrow, spleen, liver, or lymph nodes. Great news for Margarita!

Margarita began radiation therapy 5 days per week for 3 consecutive weeks. Fortunately for Margarita, her owners were very dedicated to her treatment, and were willing to drive her back and forth to Tampa for radiation therapy. Margarita, as always, was an excellent patient and even tolerated the treatments better than expected. Her cancer went into remission following radiation therapy, and other than some hair loss at the site of radiation, Margarita has suffered no long term side effects from the cancer or the radiation. Today, almost 1 year later, Margarita is a happy and healthy member of our Midway family, and remains cancer free.

Congratulations Margarita!