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Meet Ralph, the first pet in the UK to be treated for cancer with a precise radiation beam

Ralph, a five-year-old Gordon Setter, is now back home in Lanarkshire after undergoing the new form of radiotherapy

Dog becomes first pet in the UK to be treated for cancer with precise radiation beam

A dog has become the first pet in the UK to be successfully treated for an aggressive form of cancer using an advanced technique involving radiation beams.

Ralph, a five-year-old Gordon Setter, is now back home in Lanarkshire after undergoing the new form of radiotherapy for a tumour in his nose.

Vets used a specialised radiation beam sculpted into the exact shape of his tumour, which had been affecting his breathing and could soon have become life threatening.

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His owners first realised there was a problem when Ralph started suffering from repeated nosebleeds, with vets soon discovering the cancerous growth in his nose.

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He then became the first pet in the UK to be treated using intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), delivered by a machine capable of precisely targeting cancer cells.

Based at the University of Edinburgh’s Hospital for Small Animals, the device has a powerful radiation beam which minimises the risk to surrounding healthy tissue.

Effective treatment for pets

Until now the technique has only been available to humans, but vets at…

Chris Green

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