Organization funding cancer treatment for sick animals

The expenses to treat animals diagnosed with cancer can add up and one organization is fighting the disease by raising money to help owners struggling to find the funds.

Veterinary medicine studies show more than half of dogs ten years or older will get some sort of cancer.

Just like people, dogs must undergo procedures such as chemotherapy to get rid of it, and the costs of those treatments can add up quickly.

"I never knew it was that expensive," said retired North Myrtle Beach High School teacher Lou Henderson.

Earlier this year, Henderson's yellow labrador, Tony, was diagnosed with cancer in his ear that quickly spread through his body."

"To remove the ear cost about $1500 dollars and chemo is around $3600," said Henderson.

On her fixed income, those treatments cost too much.

"I didn't think there was much hope," said Henderson. "But I plan to see him through this.

To help keep Tony alive, Henderson found an organization called The Magic Bullet Fund which pays for life saving cancer treatments.

"I wrote a book about my experiences I went through when my dog Bullet was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer," said founder Laurie Kaplin. "At the book's release, I wanted to donate to a group that funded cancer treatments for animals but there were none. So I started my own."

Treatments for 210 dogs are funded by The Magic Bullet Fund that pays money directly to veterinarian clinics.

"Unfortunately, there's not the same time of insurance to help pay for the medical care. If it is something they would like to have done it is a very useful and successful technique to prolong life with good quality," said Pawleys Island veterinarian Noel Berger.

In the past few years, he's seen the number of animals diagnosed with cancer rise.

"Dogs and cats are inflicted with cancer in an increasing weight," said Dr. Berger. "In my career, which has been over 25 years now, we didn't see too much cancer. We didn't treat too much cancer. Now more and more and more it's beginning to be one of the most common things we see."

On Thursday, Berger gave Tony his second round of chemotherapy treatments out of 13.

Tony's health is improving and he has yet to get sick from his treatments, said Henderson.