December 2015 VMC Patient of the Month

Feather's Story

Feather Abramson
Feather Abramson

My name is Feather and I am one of a litter of eight puppies.  I was named Feather because when I was born I had what looked like a white feather on my head.  During my 11 plus years, I have been a very busy Aussie!  I earned two Obedience Titles, my CGC (Canine Good Citizen), and two Tracking Titles.   This means my full name is Spruce Feather in my Cap, CGC, CD, TD!  I love to track in the fields and woods – I got into trouble a couple times with tracking deer in the fields by my house and chasing them in the woods with my human mother and father looking all over for me.

For seven years I was a pet therapy dog, visiting hospitals, libraries (where children read to me), and other places where people needed me. I really enjoyed working on the rehab floor at University Hospital where I worked with patients to help them with physical therapy by tossing balls and things for me to catch. I like playing with balls and Frisbees in the fields by my house.

In June of 2014 I was diagnosed with Panuveitis OU (in both eyes) and I had to retire from my pet therapy job. We spent the rest of that summer, fall and winter going for treatment to Cornell Animal Hospital for my eyes. The doctors and the students there really treated me nice and they used to invite all the students to exam my eyes because they said I was such a good patient, I would just sit there while they took turns looking in my eyes. They did a lot of tests on me there trying to figure out what was causing the problem with my eyes. Then in early December 2014 they discovered that I might have Lymphoma and that would explain part of the problem with my eyes.

We were then referred to the Veterinary Medical Center. On December 2, 2014 we met with Dr. Rassnick at the Veterinary Medical Center for an Oncology Consultation. After a number of tests to verify what type of Lymphoma I had, we started my chemotherapy in January, 2015.  Everyone was so nice and loving to me that I manage to get through my treatments without any difficulties. I have always been a picky eater and sometimes during treatment I gave my mom a really hard time with meal times. My mom made sure she found something I would like so I would stay strong and be able fight off the disease.  A couple of times I didn't feel well, but  but the Emergency Service at VMC got me hydrated and made me feel better.

Now I have completed six months of treatment and am in remission. I still am coming back once a month for check-ups and getting my hugs from the lovely lady at the reception desk and my friends in the treatment area. For now my journey continues, I live in the country and like to head for the fields and woods once in a while to smell who and what has been visiting us during the night. I can open my AKC kennel door so they can’t keep me in the kennel anymore. I get to stay in the open heated garage/kennel area or they let me spend a lot more time in the house (which I prefer). I still play ball, but I’m not as limber or as stable on my feet as I used to be, so I just drop the ball, and bark at my mom or dad to pick it up and toss it in the air so I can easily catch it. I also have to keep an eye on the other dogs in the kennel area so they don’t steal my stash of dry food that I nibble at during the day.

-- Feather Abrahamson

Feather: 11 year old Australian Shepherd

Diagnosis: Lymphoma Treatment: Chemotherapy