Coordinating Cancer Care with a Diva's Wardrobe: Meet Ladybug the Pug

"Ladybug actually tolerated chemotherapy great. She's super happy and loves doing her little puggy things."

It’s not every day you meet a pug with a full wardrobe, complete with coordinating eye patches. But Ladybug is no ordinary pug.

More remarkable than her love of formal attire is the fact that Ladybug is a cancer survivor who enjoys a great quality of life thanks to Board Certified Radiation Oncologist Catie McDonald

Joyce Bellinazzo adopted Ladybug knowing the diva pug had health issues. Ladybug has diabetes and had surgery to remove one of her eyes (thus the fashionable patches). So when Joyce learned out that the lumps she found on Ladybug were cancerous, she didn’t hesitate to seek out the best medical care possible.

After having one tumor removed by her primary veterinarian only to discover more, Joyce brought Ladybug to VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas, Oregon, where she began her journey with Dr. McDonald.

“Ladybug came to see me for her first visit and we used local anesthetic to at least partially remove her new mast cell tumors,” says Dr. McDonald. “What we found was one of them was a not so worrisome, and one of them was.”

One of Ladybug’s tumors was high grade, which meant that she would need a lot of cancer treatment. She started with 16 radiation therapy treatments, followed by four months of chemotherapy to try to reduce her risk of tumor spread. 

“Ladybug actually tolerated chemotherapy great,” says Dr. McDonald. “She had no side effects. Joyce tells me all the time that she's having great quality of life, she's super happy. She loves doing her little puggy things, so that's really good.”

VCA’s leading veterinary specialists and hospitals are raising the bar in pet care, using state-of-the-art equipment and breakthrough treatments. Many of our locations are emergency and specialty hospitals, where primary care veterinarians refer owners for their pets’ emergency treatment and advanced care. These include over 34 VCA Pet CancerCare® Centers featuring the most innovative technology and treatments available anywhere. 

Our network has over 1,000 hospitals across the country with a brain trust of more than 600 board certified veterinary specialists, working collaboratively in fields including surgery, cardiology, radiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, neurology, oncology, physical rehabilitation, internal medicine, nutrition and more. 

For pet owners like Joyce, having a team of experts who can work with her primary vet to provide highly specialized care for Ladybug close to home and under one medical record is invaluable.

“I don't feel that Dr. McDonald is just her oncologist,” she says. “I feel that I'm part of that treatment as well.”

Many serious diseases and conditions are now possible to treat, which results in pets living their best lives, longer. Our mission is to provide clients like you, and your pet, an experience that gets to the heart of the health matter and provides the best possible outcome. 

Are you concerned about your pet’s lumps?

VCA Animal Hospitals has over 34 VCA Pet CancerCare® Centers featuring the most innovative technology and treatments available anywhere
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