NEW YORK â€” Brute, a German shepherd, lay anesthetized on an operating table, his hairy chest under a plastic cover and his powerful paws taped immobile.
“Here comes the wire up the artery!” said Dr. Chick Weisse, who infused the dog’s cancerous liver with chemotherapy via a catheter at the century-old Animal Medical Center in Manhattan in an effort to “buy him some time.”
Brute was home in days, the cancer at bay a while longer â€” perhaps eight months. The cost: $2,000.
Around the nation, veterinarians are practicing ever more advanced medicine on the nation’s 77 million dogs, 90 million cats and a myriad other animals â€” treatments that vie with the best of human medicine. The driving force is “the changing role of the pet in our society,” said Dr. Patty Khuly, a veterinarian at Miami’s Sunset Animal Clinic.
The bottom line for many people, she said, is that investing in a pet’s life “improves the quality of a human life immeasurably more than, say, buying a luxury car.”
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