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Science Fight Against Cancer: A Bearded Dragon’s New Lease on Life

How far would you go to save your bearded dragon’s life if your precious pet was afflicted by cancer? When cancer strikes an exotic pet like a bearded dragon, keepers are frequently left with no good options other than to euthanize their pets because the cost of surgery can be cost prohibitive for many people. What if you were to learn that Petco—yes, the same Petco from which pet owners across America buy their pet supplies, has devoted $15 million to help eligible pets fight the toughest battle of their lives.

One lucky pet bearded dragon, affectionately named Citrus, got a new lease on life thanks to the generosity of the Petco Foundation, and in the process helped veterinary science gain valuable insight into treating reptilian cancers.

Citrus came into the family’s life as a first pet for a 9 year old girl, named Deanna Weiher-Getty, who knew she wanted a pet of her own ever since participating in an informal pet share program aimed and helping youngsters learn about various types of animals. The little girl’s mother suffered from severe allergies so the easygoing bearded dragon was the perfect family pet. An unusual spot on the bearded dragon’s back was diagnosed by the family’s veterinarian as sarcoma —a type of cancer that attacks connective tissue. Determined to help Citrus in her fight against cancer, the family came across a promising article published by the NC State School of Veterinary Medicine that discussed cancer treatment of another bearded dragon that was afforded a new lease on life through a grant given to the school by the Petco Foundation, explicitly to help defray the cost of treating cancer in exotic animals.

The family contacted NC State’s School of Veterinary Medicine and was pleased to hear that Citrus would be eligible for cancer treatment under the conditions of the grant. After a successful tumor removal surgery, the lucky bearded dragon was sent home with the amazing news that the cancer had not spread, and in turn, medical science learned a bit more about successfully treating cancer in bearded dragons, which will hopefully save even more pets in the future.

So, if your pet bearded dragon is afflicted with cancer, thus, putting you into a difficult position of having to pay for an expensive surgery or losing your pet, you may want to look into whether your bearded dragon would be eligible to receive cancer treatment at one of the many organizations covered by the grant. The $15 million Petco Foundation grant not only assists families with covering cancer treatment costs but also funds clinical and university studies aimed at stopping cancer for good.

For a list of participating organizations, please go to the Petco Foundation’s website.

Source Article: Bearded Dragon Offers Insight Into Cancer Treatment - NC State Veterinary Medicine
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