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Sumo: Cancer Free Thanks to a Foundation First Award Grant

When Sumo, an adorable 9-year-old Shih Tzu, began sleeping and drinking more than usual, his owner, Dieter Benesch, began worrying. Sumo just wasn’t his usual energetic self.

A trip to the veterinarian uncovered the problem. Sumo had a mass on his liver, but the ultrasound used to detect the mass couldn’t confirm whether it was cancerous. Sumo’s veterinarian referred Dieter to Dr. Elizabeth Ballegeer at Michigan State University.

Dr. Ballegeer, a recipient of a First Award Grant from Morris Animal Foundation, was testing a diagnostic imaging technology that has traditionally only been used to detect cancer in humans. Her study specifically focused on detecting and treating liver cancer in dogs.

Not only did Dr. Ballegeer confirm the presence of the growth on Sumo’s liver but she also found a mass on his thyroid that hadn’t been detected by the original ultrasound. Both masses were removed, and both turned out to be cancerous.

“We would never have found out about this second mass if it weren’t for Dr. Ballegeer’s work and the Morris Animal Foundation study,” Dieter says. “Sumo is now cancer free, and he should be able to live out a long and healthy life with us.”

It is thanks to generous supporters that Morris Animal Foundation is able to fund important scientific studies that are making a difference in the lives of animals like Sumo. Please consider making a gift today.


Categories: Canine cancer
September 18, 2013