Tomotherapy is a type of radiation therapy used on dogs. It delivers the radiation in slices instead of a beam. Nunya had 20 sessions to complete her tomotherapy treatment. To start the treatment off, a CT scan was done and the oncologist took a few days to map out how the dosage would be delivered.
From these posts, we heard an amazing story about a horse going through tomotherapy in the same machine pictured to the right. Click here to see Breezy, the horse, undergoing tomotherapy treatment. Breezy had a rare tooth root cancer and helped pioneer radiation tomotherapy treatment on horses, thanks to the doctors at A&M.
As with all forms of radiation treatments, there are side effects.
Nunya showed no signs of radiation burns until the very end of her treatment. She started losing a few chunks of skin directly under her eyes after the last week of tomotherapy treatment started. These spots grew in size and redness for a good three weeks. During that time they blistered and looked extremely painful but Nunya was always great about allow us to put the burn cream on her face.
Radiation Burn Photos in Order:
Could I please have permission to use the 3rd image illustrating radiation skin burns after 1 week of treatment – with acknowledgement as appropriate?
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In the end would you say radiation therapy was the right decision? My German Short hair finished her last treatment 5 days ago for oral melanoma and it’s shocking and heartbreaking to look at her. The entire right side of her face is raw and her eye runs constantly. The oncologist assures us that these burns are superficial and will heal, although she did state that my dog’s reaction was more severe than she had anticipated. Still trying to decide if we made the right decision or if it was selfish. Thank you.
I certainly understand what you mean by it being shocking and heartbreaking to look at the radiation burns. It makes you feel terrible to put them through that. On the plus side, pain seemed to be managed pretty well through Tramadol and creams. It’s a hard call because you never want to see your pet have pain, but I think the tradeoff of Nunya being able to breathe again and reducing the swelling from the tumor made it worthwhile. It traded a much worse pain for a lesser pain that did heal up fairly quickly.