Dr. Sue Ettinger, veterinary cancer specialist

by | Jan 15, 2020

Dr. Sue Ettinger—a veterinary cancer specialist, aka “Dr. Sue Cancer Vet”—recalls her road to becoming a vet, after briefly entertaining the idea of pursuing a career involving art history. She describes how she traveled a somewhat serendipitous path that deposited Ettinger at her professional focus on oncology. Underscoring her passionate belief in the importance of early cancer detection and diagnosis, Ettinger outlines some methods for checking out our pets, feeling their bodies in search for any “lumps and bumps”—initially, it might be as small as a pea—and then how to react (and not react!) if you feel something new or troubling. In addition to being a practicing veterinarian, Ettinger is also a speaker, author, podcaster, and YouTuber—she pondered and then responded to my observation that those things involve a lot of time and effort, and clearly offer a lot to pet owners, but I was interested to know what those things do for her. She also fielded a number of listener calls and emails, spanning an array of topics, including one about a Golden Retriever initially diagnosed with another ailment—not cancer—yet ended up being loaded with tumors…a question from Talking Animals’ greyhound correspondent, Don Goldstein, about the high incidence of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in greyhounds and whether there’s truth to the rumor that a related vaccination is being developed (there is)…a string of questions tied to the caller’s dog having been diagnosed with anal cancer and other maladies. (https://drsuecancervet.com/, https://www.instagram.com/drsuecancervet/, https://www.facebook.com/DrSueCancerVet/, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_dC6ku6Ye8YOqusLLmNM1A)

ALSO: I played back an interview I had recorded the previous night with Dr. Jennifer Conrad, founder of The Paw Project, about the recent announcement that the Banfield national chain of pet hospitals will no longer support performing declaw surgery. Conrad discussed what she believed motivated the decision—because of the growing public awareness of the often-horrific outcomes of declaw, many pet owners are now steering clear of operations that offer the procedure—so this move is better for the Banfield bottom line. She addresses the implications of this policy change. (https://www.banfield.com/pet-healthcare/additional-resources/article-library/veterinary-services/declaw-policy-statement, https://pawproject.org/)

COMEDY CORNER: Joe Zimmerman’s “Pet Snakes” (portion)(http://www.zimmermancomedy.com/)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.


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