New canine cancer blood test available
By Wendy Wilson
The National Canine Cancer Foundation in Phoenix has announced that a new, simple blood test is now available for dog lovers to confirm veterinary suspicion of cancer in their pets.
Developed by Veterinary Diagnostics Institute, which is a reference laboratory based in Simi Valley, California, the test is called VDI TKcanine+. It is used by veterinarians to measure two compounds in the dog’s blood: the thymidine kinase (or TK) level, which indicates unusually rapid cell division; and levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which indicates when inflammation is present. Together, these measurements detect cancer in its early stages before signs become more obvious, says NCCF chief executive officer Gary Nice.
Though other canine cancer detection tests are currently being used by veterinarians, VDI TKcanine+ is different because it confirms cancer earlier without having to use expensive radiology.
“Until this test was available, often we would have to wait for cancer to develop to the point where the signs became obvious and the cancer mass was detectable either by feeling the lump in your dog, or through the use of radiology procedures such as X-ray and ultrasound,” Nice says.
“VDI TKcanine+ is a simple blood test,” he continues. “Compared to radiology, this test is inexpensive. And because it is a blood test, it is looking for cancer throughout the body, unlike radiology that examines specific locations.”
The test also helps veterinarians determine how far advanced the cancer is, Nice says, and that can be used to guide treatment decisions.
“Once treatment, such as surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy, occurs, the test is used to gauge the effectiveness of that treatment and determine if the cancer returns or has spread through periodic monitoring,” he says.
The test is versatile, accurate and affordable, according to Nice.
To have this test run on your dog, contact your veterinarian and ask for the VDI TKcanine+ blood test. For more information, please visit www.wearethecure.org