The Oncology department at The Hope Center focuses on the care and treatment of patients diagnosed with cancer. This disease, in addition to it being physically challenging for the pet, it is also a troubling time for the owner. The department relies on the most advanced cancer therapies to treat the patient as well as education to help pet owners understand their pet’s condition and make the most informed decisions possible in line with the wishes of their family.
Emotional turmoil and feelings of helplessness are common when a pet is diagnosed with cancer. We consider it our duty to make the process as painless as possible. We try to spoil pets and owners alike, and to treat you as a part of our own family.
We believe the best way to combat the feelings of distress is to provide information and understanding. Many clients find it overwhelming to digest the amount of information regarding the diagnosis, potential treatment options and possible side effects. We excel at educating clients so that you may feel empowered and capable of making decisions.
There are always several different options for treatment. We offer state-of-the-art cancer care, combining traditional methods with cutting edge protocols. Our doctors have experience not only with veterinary cancer, but also with several leading human oncology centers and with research for the National Cancer Institute.
Treatment recommendations should consider all aspects of the pet’s health, including pain relief, nutrition, and complementary and alternative therapies. Many newer drugs have almost eliminated debilitating side effects and most sources of pain.
This should be the ultimate goal of treatment, especially in pets whose cancer is not curable. By aggressively preventing pain and side effects, we expect our patients to have a higher quality of life than they did prior to diagnosis. We also speak with each family so that they know that saying goodbye is not giving up. We have many resources available for hospice and end of life decisions.
In cooperation with National Cancer Institute (NCI), an imaging study for dogs with Osteosarcoma to help increase our understanding of this aggressive cancer, which affects both dogs and people.
Read more about the study here: MIP COP Hope Center study info canine OS imaging
The Oncology Services at Hope Vienna and Rockville are enrolling dogs with B-cell high-grade lymphoma for a B-Cell Lymphoma Vaccine Trial, treated with the CHOP chemotherapy protocol to receive the Merial B-cell lymphoma vaccine as part of a clinical trial.
In cooperation with National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Hope Advanced Veterinary Center is working to enroll dogs in a study evaluating osteosarcoma using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI provides superior anatomic detail, particularly of the soft tissues associated with the tumor. Subsequent studies will evaluate the addition of a tracer called 13C-pyruvate, to map the areas of tumor that are metabolically active.
Dr. Rachel Rasmussen is a Washington DC area native, having grown-up in Bethesda, MD before attending the University of Vermont where she completed a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Animal Science. She then traveled across the country where she received her veterinary degree from Western University of Health Sciences in southern California in 2011. After graduation, she completed a one-year small animal rotating internship at Colorado State University. Dr. Rasmussen then moved to Madison, WI where she completed a three-year medical oncology residency at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Rasmussen is board certified in Oncology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
With so many advances in veterinary oncology, she looks forward to providing owners with a comprehensive summary of diagnostic and treatment options in order to create a plan that works best for them and their pet.
Outside of work Dr. Rasmussen enjoys playing golf, running, yoga, travel, and cheering on the Badgers with her husband, Mike, and their chocolate Labrador, C. Randall.
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