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Dedicated to Darcy

12 July 2017

Sadly, a Willows patient finally lost their battle with cancer this month - but after battling cancer for almost 3 years with hardly any side effects of his treatment, he really was a super patient and a little fighter and so we feel he deserves a tribute!

Darcy was a 9-year-old Cavalier who presented almost 3 years ago to one of our Oncology Specialists, James Elliott, after his local vet had found a lump in his anal gland called anal sac apocrine gland adenocarcinoma (ASAGA).


Dedicated to Darcy

Dedicated to Darcy


A full body scan was performed as these tumours can commonly spread to other sites of the body. Unfortunately this revealed that the tumour had already spread to some lymph nodes in his pelvis and belly and they were quite large. Darcy’s owner was keen to explore all options and so Stephen Baines one of the Soft Tissue Surgery Specialists (one of only two in the UK who also specialises specifically in cancer surgery) removed all of the tumours and James followed this up with traditional chemotherapy, including a new approach – using a drug called Palladia to try and keep the cancer at bay. This worked for well over a year, but unfortunately routine scans showed the cancer had come back in other lymph nodes. These were removed again surgically and further, different chemotherapy was given – but eventually this cancer returned quite aggressively some time later in external lymph nodes in his neck and Darcy’s back bone.

Throughout all of this therapy, Darcy remained exceptionally well with hardly ever any adverse effects of his treatment. He really was a tough little dog and showed just how well, with the right management, pets can cope with cancer treatment. Darcy’s owner was therefore keen to explore slightly unconventional chemotherapy agents to try and halt the progression of Darcy’s cancer. Defying the odds, several chemotherapy agents worked temporarily to initially shrink the cancer and then hold it stable, allowing Darcy to live a full and active life with his companion Caleigh (who incidentally visits our Cardiology specialist Chris Linney!).

Regrettably, recently there were signs that Darcy’s tumours were growing and there were no other options to control his cancer. He was a fighter to the end and passed away peacefully whilst on a lovely holiday in Northumberland with his owners and Caleigh.

Darcy was an exceptional patient and his visits were enjoyed by all members of staff - but particularly James and our dedicated Oncology nurse, Michael. He was truly a pleasure to treat. Though he will be sorely missed by his family, Darcy fought amazingly well against this aggressive disease and had an excellent quality of life.

#ripdarcy #caninecancer #oncologyveterinaryspecialists #cancerindogs #petcancer #cancervets