ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- For families who adore their pets, when they get sick it's like caring for a family member. Researchers hope a cancer treatment breakthrough for animals will eventually help humans too.
Ginger, who's now 12 years old, has been a member of Don Clark's family since she was just one. So like any concerned pet owner would, he brought her to the vet when he noticed something wasn't right.
"They ran some tests and diagnosed her with lymphoma," said Clark.
After doing a quick web search, he found out that his 72-pound girl could possibly only have about a month to live.
"It's devastating knowing there's that little bit of time left suddenly," said Clark.
Two months later, Ginger now undergoes chemotherapy. She's in remission and could possibly live for a year. Back to chasing squirrels, going for long walks, and eating very well.
"There's a possibility if we had done nothing she wouldn't be here today," said Clark.
Dr. Tracey LaDue says once Ginger finishes up her chemo, she'll receive a vaccine considered a breakthrough in cancer treatment for dogs. She says it was developed by a bio-tech group out of Tampa.
"Morphogenesis, Inc has made this vaccine that educates the immune response to be able to see the cancer cells seek them out and destroy them," said LaDue.
She says to date, animals have been treated with no sign of negative side effects. And it's possible this technology could eventually help to treat cancer in humans.
"I'm very hopeful," said Clark. "Cancer is a tough disease. And there really isn't a cure at this point. So this holds a lot of promise."
Dr. LaDue's office, Southeastern Veterinary Oncology and Medicine is accepting dogs for a clinical study. If your dog has lymphoma, and you're interested in signing up for free cancer treatment call 904-278-3870.
First Coast News