Big Sister Ava

Ava is a two-year-old labrador retriever from Mineral, Va., who is being treated for lymphoma at The Oncology Service Richmond. Her mom shared her story. 

“I got Ava about two years ago. I’ve always had large-breed dogs, which have a comparatively short lifespan. I read about labrador retrievers and loved everything about them: temperament, lifespan, very smart, adorable! My boyfriend’s stepdad adopted her brother and Ava was the last pup left. I fell in love with her – she was such a fluffball! 

“Ava and I do everything together; she used to come to work with me every day. In February I felt a lump on her neck and we rushed to the local emergency vet. Everyone said it was possibly tick disease causing swollen lymph nodes. We did not think it was lymphoma, but she started getting sicker, vomiting, etc. The last thing we checked for was lymphoma. Ava is young and full of energy so it was not the number-one thing on anyone’s mind.

“When I got the phone call telling me she has B-type lymphoma, I scheduled an appointment with the oncologist right away. I want her chemo treatment to give her a year’s remission. I am due to deliver my daughter in a few weeks and I was so excited for my baby to have such an amazing dog to grow up with. Even if Ava only gets one year, I will be ecstatic. I do not want to lose my girl anytime soon!”

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