Our Blog

July 2018
09: House-training your puppy
June 2018
21: Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer
14: Happy 10th Anniversary, Westbridge Veterinary Hospital
April 2018
18: Congratulations friends of dogs and cats everywhere!
February 2018
28: Parasite Prevention
January 2018
11: Dental disease is a real and serious issue
November 2017
01: Thank you for your support in the 2017 October Farley Foundation Fundraiser!
October 2017
03: Prizes and pie for our annual Farley Foundation Fundraiser!
September 2017
13: Keetah's Story
11: September is Cancer Awareness Month
August 2017
10: What's that smell?!
July 2017
27: Clicker Training
24: Our Commitment to a Low Stress Environment
13: The threat of rabies in southwestern Ontario
07: Wildlife in the city
June 2017
21: Lyme Disease
March 2017
06: The Value Of Education
January 2017
17: 33 years of practice, the changes I have witnessed
November 2016
28: 2016's October Farley Foundation Fundraiser was a huge success!
September 2016
20: Cajun's story
01: September is Cancer Awareness Month
July 2016
21: Cat Carriers
June 2016
29: Dog Park Etiquette
May 2016
31: Heartworm Q & A
12: Tick Troubles
March 2016
10: Anticipated tick bloom
February 2016
22: Introduction to TCVM – Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
January 2016
14: The difference dental care can make
December 2015
30: Raccoon Rabies reported in Hamilton, Ontario
08: Understanding Aging
November 2015
25: Our new, state of the art, Ultrasound machine
October 2015
09: Fun and Delicious Fundraising for the Farley Foundation
September 2015
23: Cancer Awareness Month: Texas' Story
14: September is Cancer Awareness Month
July 2015
28: Exciting news for our hospital!
June 2015
11: Mosquito Prevention
May 2015
08: Heartworm cases
April 2015
24: Changing your pet's food
March 2015
01: Veterinary Technician Specialties in Dentistry!
January 2015
13: January and February are Dental Education Months!
December 2014
18: The Internet at its Best
November 2014
28: Westbridge's Change of Hours
October 2014
07: October is Farley Month - Spa Day's, Paw Prints and Pies!
September 2014
22: Cancer Awareness Month - Ruby's Story
20: September is Cancer Awareness Month!
02: Ways to a Happy, Healthier Pet
July 2014
03: A New Way to Save Your Pet's Teeth!
June 2014
26: Veterinary Dentistry in San Diego!
March 2014
20: Happy Smiles
January 2014
22: The 15 Steps to Your Pet's Dental Cleaning!
15: January and February are Dental Months, and We Have a Contest to Celebrate!
09: Baby Teeth in Puppies and Kittens
06: An Update on Dr. Hylands
December 2013
27: Dentistry in New Orleans!
17: Wishing Dr. Hylands a Safe and Uneventful Recovery
13: The Holidays are Here!
04: A Potential Mandible Fracture - A Tale on Missing Teeth
October 2013
10: Fundraising for Farley
July 2013
11: Tried and True, For Humans Too!
June 2013
20: Therapeutic Laser's Beneficial Effects on Arthritis
12: Pet Education Day and Open House a Huge Success!
May 2013
25: 5th Annual Pet Education Day and Open House!
April 2013
29: We've Brought 'Light' into our Clinic!
March 2013
10: We're Constantly Learning!
February 2013
21: Small Dogs Require Big Dental Care!
08: Missing Teeth in Your Pets - Should You Be Worried?
January 2013
13: Periodontal (Dental) Disease in our Pets
December 2012
19: Senior Month - It's Not Just Old Age!
04: Senior Month - A Focus on Kidney Disease
November 2012
15: Farley Month a Huge Success!
October 2012
27: Possessive Aggression in our Dogs
22: Thinking of Breeding Your Dog? Here Are Some Things To Consider First
03: October is Farley Month!
September 2012
20: Litter Boxes - Everyone's Favourite Task!
August 2012
14: Exercising Your Pets in the Summer - Heat Stroke
June 2012
28: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasound Case Study
21: A Heartfelt "Thank You" for Attending our Pet Education Carnival!
19: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasonography
May 2012
23: A Logical Approach to Unwanted Barking
07: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use in Companion Animals
April 2012
21: Wellness Examinations Help to Maintain Your Pets Health
10: OVC Pet Trust Animal Cancer Centre Needs Your Help!
01: Heartworm Disease in Ontario
March 2012
19: A Dedication to a Great Man and an Dedicated Veterinarian
February 2012
06: Why Anesthesia-Free Dental Care is Wrong, Cruel, and Medically Inappropriate
January 2012
16: The Why's and What's of Dental X-ray
09: Cats Are a Unique Species, with Unique Dental Disease
05: Six Easy Steps to Brushing your Pets Teeth!
02: Dental Awareness Months!
December 2011
21: Chocolate... Good for you?
November 2011
11: Farley Month was a Huge Success!

Cajun's story

Posted: 2016-09-20

In early September of 2010, my husband and I adopted Cajun, our cat, as an 8 week old kitten who had been separated from his mom at birth and brought to an animal hospital to be euthanized. Kind people refused to euthanize and a man by the name of Andrew cared for Cajun and his 3 siblings day and night until they were old enough to be homed. We both fell in love with Cajun. A sweet bundle of brown tabby fur who was fearless right from the start.

My husband, who didn’t want us to have any cats, fell hard for Cajun and the bond the two of them share is an unbreakable one. Fast forward to November of 2012. Cajun was due to have his annual exam and with no other health concerns, I happily brought him in to work with me to see Dr. Rosamund. She gave him his physical exam and found that his kidneys felt enlarged. This didn’t cause any initial panic with me as it was likely maybe a bit of an infection. Under the doctor’s advice, they took some blood and had it sent off to the lab. It was a Friday night and Dr. Rosamund called me at home to let me know that she had received Cajun’s bloodwork results. His kidney values were elevated. I asked her what that could be…she said again that it is likely an infection, but she wanted him to have an ultrasound just to be sure. I asked her “what would be the worst case scenario?” I will never forget her words. She really didn’t want to say at first, but after some prodding, she said “the worst case scenario could be that he has kidney cancer and could be on limited time.”

This shocked me, as he had been completely normal at home. Sleeping a lot, but I, like most cat owners, can easily overlook this as cats just being cats…
Of course, we agreed to ultrasound and Cajun would have it done the following Tuesday.

Over the weekend we noticed some changes in Cajun. It seemed he aged twelve years over the course of a few days. His face seemed to take on a hollow look and his appetite was down. We coaxed him and tried to tempt him with all his favourites like tuna and shrimp and even that was a struggle to get him to eat. By the time Tuesday rolled around, I knew in my heart of hearts that something was very wrong with our boy.

Dr. Hylands did the ultrasound among other tests and our worse fears were realized. Cajun had cancer of the kidneys. There was also cancer found in his lymph nodes and a mass in his intestines. Dr. Hylands had the horrible job of telling me that our baby was dying. This was a very aggressive cancer and Cajun could have around two weeks to live. The kindest thing to do for Cajun, we thought at that point, was to let him go. We spoke at great lengths with Dr. Hylands and Dr. Buller to see if there was anything that could be done. We talked about chemotherapy. Dr. Buller could not promise us anything as this was an aggressive cancer but she was willing to give it a shot.

The last thing in the world we wanted for Cajun, was to see him suffer. My husband and I talked about it and the conclusion we came to was this. We could let him go if we knew we had tried everything to save him. But I couldn’t let him go without making every effort. We decided we would try one round of chemo and see how he responded.

His first chemo treatment was on Thursday November 29th, 2012. A day I will never forget. My husband had taken the day off work so he could be nearby should things turn badly. To our delight, Cajun did well through his treatment and maybe it was just our hopefulness, but he seemed somehow brighter to me.

With hope in our hearts, we let him rest in the hospital while we went and grabbed some lunch at a nearby restaurant. With all the grief in the last few days, we were finally feeling a little happier…until my phone rang. It was my Dad. My mom had just passed away that morning.

Our world was launched into yet another whirlwind of grief and sorrow. Over the next few weeks, I was with my Dad most of the time and I had to leave the care of Cajun to my work family and to my husband.

They all did such a wonderful job of taking care of him and keeping me updated on his progress. Cajun continued with his chemo treatments and although I was warned that there may be side effects…vomiting, diarrhea….there were none. The fearless little kitten that we adopted was in there and was fighting like hell to beat this.

After Christmas, Cajun went to surgery to remove one of the masses that was blocking his intestines. Dr. Hylands did that surgery and after that, Cajuns appetite returned and he just kept getting better and better.

His chemotherapy treatments ended in 2013. After that we took him in for an ultrasound and got the amazing news that he was in remission!

Cajun had a lot of people in his corner rooting for him and my angel of a Mom was most certainly watching over him. I think about what we could have lost if we hadn’t have put our faith in the Doctors at Westbridge and in the treatment and the research that has been done in respect to feline
cancer.
We know there is always the risk that it could come back, and if it does, we wouldn’t hesitate to go down the chemo road again. But right now, we are overjoyed to tell you that it is coming up to four years since Cajun was diagnosed and he remains cancer free.

Giles and Andi Lance

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