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Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota Has Update On Dog With Cancer

Oakdale, MN (PRWEB) August 28, 2013

In March, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota (AERC) began treatment on an Akita named Sampson. Diagnosed with bone cancer in his front leg, Sampson underwent an amputation.

As a large breed dog almost 13 years old, Sampson had some hurdles in front of him following amputation; namely, he was already arthritic and painful in his remaining limbs. AERC and Sampson’s owner decided against chemotherapy post-surgery. Instead, they focused on maintaining Sampson’s quality of life in as pain-free a manner as possible.

Sampson’s veterinarian, Dr. Houstoun Clinch at TLC Veterinary Hospital, recommended that his owner contact the Sport & Strength Department at Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota. Their rehabilitation programs would help to increase Sampson’s mobility and build his muscle tone while keeping Sampson mentally stimulated.

Sampson’s owner realized the therapy team at AERC of MN was, “excellent with Sam. John Nielsen, CVT-VTS (ECC), CVPP, CCRP, the technician who runs the program, really tailored his treatment to our goals and to Sam’s abilities and his personality. Many dogs that go through rehabilitation are working dogs—agility, flyball, hunting, or herding. We are just about as far from that as you can get, but John did a great job finding the right workout for Sampson. Sampson is not the most athletic, graceful, or fast dog on the underwater treadmill, but he definitely earned an “A” for effort!”

Sampson’s normal routine included laser therapy, stretching and massage, cavalettis, wobble board exercises, the underwater treadmill, and other exercises to do at home. To see Sampson on an underwater treadmill please go to:

In providing palliative care for Sampson, his owner said they, “often feel like a little girl plugging one leak in the dam, only to find another sprouting elsewhere. We start a course of medication to address arthritis, and we cause stomach distress and weight loss. We add steroids to boost his appetite, but the pain meds aren’t compatible with the steroids. We change pain meds, but the new ones aren’t quite as effective, so we try something else, and around and around we go.”

Their goal for Sampson’s rehabilitative therapy was to provide pain relief, increase mobility and to increase appetite, without reaching for a pill bottle all of the time.

It has now been five and a half months since Sampson’s amputation. He is happier, more alert and eating better than he has in the last year and a half. His pain medication dose is very low, and they’ve drastically cut the steroids, too.

“I absolutely believe that physical rehabilitation at Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota, along with great care from our family vet, have made all that possible. It is a wonderful thing to have a care team composed of people who make an effort to know and love your dog, and to know you,” said Sampson’s owner. “Sampson and I have been together for thirteen years. He is stoic, stubborn, recalcitrant, goofy, peculiar and particular. He is everything I ever wanted in a dog and never expect to find again. What I want for Sampson is for his remaining days to be as normal and as happy and as wonder-filled as possible. What brings him joy might be as simple as an endless supply of cardboard paper towel tubes to gnaw on, sparring with his canine sister, chasing bunnies, or breaking into the litter boxes for an afternoon snack! And sure, it can be hamburger for dinner instead of kibble, if that’s what he wants.”

Every week, Sampson hops into AERC with tail wags and a goofy grin for everyone in The Sport & Strength Department—something he couldn’t muster a couple of months ago. The services at AERC have allowed Sampson to have a quality of life, not just a quantity, and for that, his owner is grateful.

For more information AERC, please visit their website.

About the company:
Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota (AERC) started out with one clinic, one veterinarian, and one technician. Today, they employ a wide variety of doctors and health care team members – all specially trained in emergency and critical care--in addition to a growing referral practice for when pets just aren't feeling like themselves. For more information, please visit their website at

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