Pets and Vets: Cornell veterinarians treat pig for lymphoma


Pets and Vets: Cornell veterinarians treat pig for lymphoma

Nemo's chemo thought to be a first in large animal treatment.
Aug 31, 2013
By staff

Cornell University Hospital for Animals' 730-pound patient is believed to be the first pig to be treated for lymphoma, according to the college. Nemo, a 4-year-old rescued black-and-white Hampshire pig, was diagnosed with presumptive B-cell lymphoma and treated with intravenous medication delivery.

Nemo, a 4-year-old Hampshire pig, was administered chemotherapy at Cornell Univeristy Hospital for Animals after being diagnosed with lymphoma. He is the first known large animal to receive the treatment. Nemo is doing well as a full-time resident at the teaching hospital. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY)
Surgeon Jim Flanders, DVM, DACVS, who had performed similar procedures in smaller animals, partnered with large animal surgeon Susan Fubini, DVM, DACVS, to surgically implant a vascular access port in Nemo. According to Cornell, the doctors decided to run a catheter up a vein in Nemo's neck to a port behind his ear, creating a route for delivering drugs where they would be most effective while minimizing harm. "We adapted a treatment plan based on what we know is effective in dogs, cats and humans with lymphoma," Cornell hospital oncologist Cheryl Balkman, DVM, Dip. ACVIM, says in a release.

The college says Nemo's clinical signs have resolved and he continues to do well during long-term treatment. Nemo, who arrived at Cornell's hospital in March, is now a distinguished full-time resident, providing valuable information to veterinarians as the first pig treated for lymphoma.

"He has a better life there," says Nemo's owner, George Goldner. "He's running around digging holes, eating pineapples, communicating vocally and getting lots of love. Cornell Hospital for Animals people play with him and bring him treats, and he plays funny tricks like tossing water at the residents. The vets have cared for him with amazing dedication and thoughtfulness."