Our Blog

September 2018
17: Monthly Focus: Cancer Awareness - Lonestar's Story
August 2018
30: Labour Day 2018
23: Bug bites and stings
July 2018
09: House-training your puppy
June 2018
21: Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer
14: Happy 10th Anniversary, Westbridge Veterinary Hospital
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18: Congratulations friends of dogs and cats everywhere!
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28: Parasite Prevention
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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
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10: What's that smell?!
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27: Clicker Training
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07: Wildlife in the city
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21: Lyme Disease
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06: The Value Of Education
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17: 33 years of practice, the changes I have witnessed
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28: 2016's October Farley Foundation Fundraiser was a huge success!
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20: Cajun's story
01: September is Cancer Awareness Month
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29: Dog Park Etiquette
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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
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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!

Cancer Awareness Month - Ruby's Story

Posted: 2014-09-22

Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, an Animal Clinic in MississaugaRuby, a beautiful female Golden Retriever, was not only a very special part of Ashley’s life, but was also the foundation for her breeding of Golden Retrievers, and one of the reasons for her dedication to the world of dog showing.

Ruby’s first ‘issue’ was October 29, 2009 when she went into Westbridge for difficulty breathing and a distended abdomen. Ultrasound of the chest revealed she had a significant amount of fluid building up in her pericardium – a sac that surrounds and protects the heart. This can be caused by many things, including cancer or idiopathic (having no known cause). Fortunately for her, no tumors were identified, and Ashley’s family decided to proceed with placing a tube in the pericardium to drain the fluid.

Ruby, in high spirits as she always was, went through and recovered from the procedure uneventfully, and was back to the tail-wagging, adorable puppy that we would soon come to know and love. Unfortunately, though, four months later Ruby again experienced difficulty breathing, and ultrasound revealed a refilling of the pericardial fluid. In order to prevent it from refilling, and constricting the heart, it was decided that her best option was to remove a large portion of the pericardium from around the heart. This way, the fluid build up would drain into the chest, where it would be reabsorbed by her body.

Ruby once again recovered remarkably, and went home with Ashley the next day as if nothing had ever happened. She continued to live for two happy years, visiting the clinic frequently, where she’d be spoiled with pieces of bagel, timbits, handfuls of treats and more!

Two years after escaping what could have been a fatal condition, a dime-sized lump on her left shoulder that she had for most of her life suddenly started to grow. Because of this, on May 25, 2011 the doctors removed the lump and sent it to the lab for analysis. Sadly the histopathology report stated Ruby had mast cell tumor, a type of cancer that varies significantly in its aggressiveness. Her tumor came back as a grade 2 out of 3. The summer came and went. Ruby and Ashley enjoyed every minute of it while running, playing and swimming. They didn’t know that this would be their last summer together. Sadly, on October 3, 2011 Ruby’s mast cell cancer would return in the same region but this time more aggressively. Ruby underwent surgical removal of the tumor, and subsequent chemotherapy to try to eliminate any remaining cancerous cells. Once again, Ruby didn’t bat an eyelash at her treatments, and continued to come to Westbridge smiling, ready for her therapy. The cancer ultimately was determined to be too aggressive for treatment. Chemotherapy was stopped and she was put on a steroid dose to slow down the cancer and to keep her comfortable. Weekly, she would develop multiple new masses throughout her skin. On March 6th of 2012, Ashley and her family made the decision to say their final goodbyes to Ruby. She was and is truly missed. 

While this sounds like a sad story, Ruby has been an incredible inspiration to us all. Her spirits never dampened, not for one second, and she was always full of kisses, tail wags, and harassing us for food (O.K… maybe that part is our fault). Ruby’s story is a clear example of the fact that despite the huge strides that have been made in cancer treatment and prevention, there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done in solving the puzzle that causes cancer in our pets.

- Ashley



This blog entry was written by Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, an animal clinic (vet hospital) in Mississauga dedicated to providing high quality, modern veterinary care to our beloved pets and their families.

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