Cali knows the drill by now. No breakfast. People at the vet’s office making a big fuss over her but not offering cookies, no matter how many times she helpfully points out the cookie jar that is right there under their noses. And her own nose and rumbling tummy.
They poke and prod her, take about a gallon of blood, clip her nails, and try to make her pee into a cup. She sure shows them, though. They chase her around with that huge black stick with the cup for hours. She has to stay at the vet’s office nearly all day … oh, wait.
It’s her annual physical for the Morris Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
Cali would rather be in this other study her mom just read about. The one testing a vaccine for cancer. It just started and the 800 dogs are getting shots. Half will get the experimental vaccine; half will get placebos.
This 5-year study is uses a vaccine developed at Arizona State University to target lymphoma, osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, mastocytomas — common canine cancers — and four other types of cancer. The idea is to inject abnormal proteins that occur on the surface of cancer cells, along with a substance to stimulate an immune response. If it works, “researchers believe the vaccine could serve as a universal defender against cancer by ‘turning on’ the immune system to recognize and defeat cancer,” according to a press release from ASU.
Those dogs only have to get four shots over a few weeks, then get regular checkups. They don’t have to pee in a stupid cup on a stick.
The Morris Study looks at dogs’ diet, exposures, lifestyle, and genetics to attempt to determine causes of cancer.
Both hope to find information that could reduce cancer in dogs, and, ultimately, other animals — including humans.
Cali doesn’t really understand the big picture. She knows the routine though. The day starts off pretty badly, but after the blood draw, she tends to get lots of treats. Who knows … she might even get some ice cream.
4 thoughts on “It’s That Time of Year …”
[…] It was time for her annual Morris Golden Retriever Lifetime Study physical exam. She’s usually pretty resistant to the sample collection, particularly the urine sample. […]
[…] treat. And when she’s at the vet and the tech wants to lead her somewhere — whether a soup ladle is involved or not — it takes an extremely high-value treat to get her to go. Koala, on the […]
[…] It started out as a cancer study, and, with the huge amount of data collected, has evolved into a study of risk factors for many diseases that affect dogs — and some that affect humans as well. The Foundation recently held a webinar that presented some information on the study; it took place the day after Cali’s annual physical exam. […]
[…] Cali could get her next vaccination via telemedicine … or avoid that scene with the soup ladle and the urine sample. She’d like that. I hate to be the one to tell her that there are some thing you just have to […]