Roxy's Story

Roxy, a white boxer, sitting and looking up at camera.We rescued a white boxer in August, 2010, from Broward Animal Control. She was found with two other boxers on the streets and was 30 pounds under weight. She was a very scared and shy girl when we first brought her home. We named her Roxy. She was just about skin and bones, but she is one of the smartest, most loving dogs I have ever had. Truly a joy to have no matter how you look at it.

In April, 2012, she started having some seizures and I took her to our local vet, Dr Rogers, and he did blood work, which all came back normal so he put her on some medicine to treat for epilepsy, which I guess can be common in boxers. She was doing very well on the medicine until the end of July. She had one night where she was having seizures all through the night just about every hour. She went back to the vet and he increased her medicine and she did good for about a week.

We got up on August 2nd and she was walking as if she was drunk. It concerned me because I never saw her do this before, so I went out in the yard with her that morning, which I never do. Thank goodness I did because she was walking around the pool and fell in. She never tried to paddle or get out, so of course, here I was, pulling my 70 pound boxer out of the pool! Called the vet and took her in for more blood work, which came back normal again, so he suggested that I take her down to Miami to a Neurologist for an MRI….so down to Miami I went. I had to leave her overnight (which I did not like at all) as they actually took them to a human hospital early mornings for the MRI’s. I went to pick her up on August 4th to hear the news that she had a brain tumor, most likely a glioma brain tumor, which is a cancerous tumor. He said with no treatment, she would be lucky to live three months, but most likely only a matter of weeks. At this point, her side effects of the tumor were getting worse on a daily basis and I didn’t even think she would make it through a week!

He then referred my case to the wonderful people at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center under Dr. Pluhar’ care. I emailed and spoke with Dr. Pluhar and Roxy was accepted into the study. Unfortunately, Dr. Pluhar was going out of town the third week of August, so we scheduled Roxy for surgery on August 21, 2012. Roxy underwent brain surgery and “gene therapy” at the time of surgery, spent the night at the Hospital and we were able to pick her up the morning of August 22nd and were able to begin our trek home to Florida on April 23rd. In addition, she had one low dose of chemotherapy and one high dose of chemotherapy, both with no ill side effects at all, and will undergo four more rounds of high dose chemotherapy….and she is absolutely AMAZING.

She runs, jumps, plays with us, other boxer, my grandchildren, she sits, stays, lays down, rolls over, fetches the ball and brings it back, knows when it is time for me to come home from work and is waiting at the window for me, greets me at the door, not only with her tail wagging, but her entire body, knows when it is treat time and goes to the treat drawer and gives lots and lots of wonderful kisses and is one of the happiest girls you ever saw. Needless to say, simply an amazing miracle….and I owe it all to Dr. Pluhar and the staff at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center.


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