With one of the largest small-animal caseloads in the country—nearly 34,000 a year, at last count—the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals sees a lot of pets with cancer. It’s no wonder. Nearly half of dogs age ten or older will develop the disease, and cancer is the most common cause of death across all canine breeds (malignancies in cats, though less common, tend to be aggressive). And there’s another reason the Foster Hospital for Small Animals is so busy: It offers some of the best veterinary cancer care available anywhere.
Depending on the cancer type and location, as well as the pet owner’s wishes, clinicians in the Harrington Oncology Program can attack it with a number of cutting-edge medical, radiation therapy, and surgical techniques. Through the robust clinical-trials program, clients often can access experimental therapies not yet available elsewhere. And because Cummings School veterinarians often partner with researchers in human medicine, study volunteers are simultaneously receiving treatment and helping speed the development of future therapies that will benefit animals and humans alike.
Delivering this care, in all its forms, is a team of world-class veterinarians and veterinary technicians who always put pets first. “There is no better feeling than knowing you made a difference in the life of an animal and the family who brought that animal to us,” said Kristine Burgess, V97, a medical oncologist and resident in radiation oncology at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center. “I am grateful for being able to offer our cancer patients top-notch, state-of-the-art, and compassionate care.”
To offer an inside look at the Foster Hospital in action, Tufts University’s chief of photography, Alonso Nichols, recently spent several days on the clinic floor. He came back with stunning portraits of the clinicians, clients, and patients all working togetherto advance cancer care.