Dedicated Pet Parents Hope to Beat the Odds at AVCC

March 26, 2020

Kelly the Maltese Undergoes Chemotherapy at The Cancer Center at AVCC in Davie

“One morning, he got up, ran to me and fell over on his side,” recalls pet owner Susie Mirrer. “Within a few minutes, he was a shaky.” Susie’s dog, Kelly, a sweet Maltese rescue, was suddenly and clearly not well.  After a visit to her family veterinarian, an x-ray revealed there was a large amount of fluid around Kelly’s heart. After her veterinarian drained the fluid, they discovered a cancerous tumor in his heart. “That’s very unusual for little dogs,” adds Susie. Our vet said we could explore oncology and referred us to Dr. Piscoya at The Cancer Center at AVCC in Davie.

Susie and her husband Lance met with Dr. Sindy Piscoya, board certified veterinary oncologist at AVCC. “Dr. Piscoya is so sweet,” says Susie. “She just patiently sits and talks to you and goes over everything and answers all your questions. She’s so wonderful!”

Kelly was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. This is a highly aggressive, malignant cancer that arises from the endothelial cells lining blood vessels. The spleen, heart, skin and liver are considered the most common primarily locations for hemangiosarcoma in dogs.

Kelly Begins Chemotherapy

Susie and Lance decided to begin chemotherapy for Kelly. “Our other dog had gone through chemo. He had lymphoma. So, we had some experience with this,” she says. “I was treated very well at Advanced Veterinary Care Center. Dr. Piscoya laid everything out and left the decision up to us. She was never pushy. She’s lovely and I highly recommend her!”

Life expectancy for Kelly’s situation is about six months, but Susie is trying to beat those odds. “It has worked out much better than we had hoped,” says Susie. “Kelly is losing his hair, but other than that he has not had any side effects from the IV chemo. Now, he takes a pill every other day. He is wonderful at home! He runs, jumps, eats and doesn’t know he’s sick! His quality of life is excellent. There are no movement limitations. His tummy is not upset. He’s doing well and I’m very happy!”

For The Cancer Center at AVCC’s comprehensive guide to pet cancer care, click HERE.

If you have questions about our oncology service, please feel free to contact us anytime at 954-500-VETS.

The Cancer Center at AVCC is located in South Florida in Broward County.
8920 W. State Road 84,
Davie, Florida 33324

The Cancer Center at AVCC offers the following oncology services:

Diagnostic tests including:

  • Fine needle aspirates/cytology
  • Bone marrow aspirates
  • Bone biopsies
  • Incisional and punch biopsies
  • Personalized genomic testing


  • Traditional chemotherapy (intravenous/intracavitary)
  • Metronomic chemotherapy
  • Targeted chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Palliative care and pain management
  • Hospice counseling
  • Nutritional counseling and referral
  • Referral for pet radiation therapy
Kelly and Susie
Kelly and Lance

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