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Lucky Dog: How being a veterinarian saved my life

Cancer is a word that instils fear in most of us. Many of us have had firsthand experiences and there are many stories of people’s personal journeys. This is a different story, because it is told by a vet who also happens to be a surgical oncologist. She has treated many animals with the same kind of cancer that she developed.

There are tiny illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. The outline of a dog’s head tells us this chapter will be about animals, and the outline of a female head tells us this chapter will be about Sarah. It is an interesting way to learn from a vet about the journey that animals go through when diagnosed with cancer.

Sarah is performing her usual facial cleansing routine when she discovers a mass in her throat. She is instantly worried and is sure it is thyroid cancer. She attends an outpatient’s clinic, but leaves after waiting a long time. My sympathies were with Sarah and her battle with the Canadian Health System. What an incredibly difficult time, battling an illness and also the disinterest of the medical staff she met.

The treatment of her thyroid cancer, once the doctors agreed it was that, was complex. The mass was removed surgically, but her lymph glands were enlarged and causing concern. Sarah moved to Florida to practice her veterinarian surgical procedures, but discovered more changes to her body. To her amazement doctors took her seriously, working with her to remove her thyroid gland. It seems the health system for those covered in the U.S.A. is prompt and friendly.

The chapters that intermingle with Sarah’s story tell of her many experiences with animals, some sad, some happy and most touching for pet lovers. The questions raised by pet owners and presented to the vet echo many of our own concerns regarding our pets.

The book, while discussing Sarah’s ordeal and struggle with cancer, also shows us the range of treatments available to pets with various forms of cancer. An interesting parallel!

AuthorDr Sarah Boston
PublisherAllen & Unwin
ISBN9781760111991
Websitehttp://www.allenandunwin.com