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Digger diagnosed with bone cancer

Nicole Formosa
Vail, CO Colorado
Mark Fox/Summit DailyDigger, a 12-year veteran with the Dillon Police Department K-9 unit, gets a pat-on-the-back from Summit Middle School eight-grader Daelon Moulton.
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DILLON ” Digger, the recently retired police dog from Dillon, has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, and will need to have his leg amputated, his longtime owner, Dillon police Sgt. Wendy Kipple, said.

Digger retired last March after spending 12 years as a drug and search dog for Dillon.

“Digger still comes to work with me every day, since this is all he has ever known, and I feel that is one of the contributing factors to why he is still so healthy aside from the bone cancer,” Kipple wrote in an e-mail.



Because of his overall health, the Colorado State University Veterinary Oncology Center has tapped Digger to participate in a study it’s conducting on osteosarcoma, which will involve a rigorous schedule of appointments in Ft. Collins, starting this week, Kipple said.

He’s scheduled to have his cancerous right front leg removed today.



Then, he will return in about two weeks for suture removal and for his first round of chemotherapy treatments. After that Kipple will take him back every three weeks for five more chemo treatments.

According to Kipple, studies have shown that out of a 100-dog sample, 50 percent of the dogs receiving this treatment lived for another year, 30 to 45 percent lived two years or more, and 5 percent were cured.

Kipple said she is happy Digger can still serve the public by participating in the osteosarcoma study, the purpose of which is improve cancer treatment for humans as well as dogs.



For allowing Digger to be a part of this study, CSU is discounting Kipple’s total vet bill by $1,500, but the total cost for the initial treatment and therapy will still run about $5,000.

If you’d like to help with Digger’s medical costs, send a check made out to Digger to Sandra Weise, 7475 Julian Street, Westminster, CO 80030 or Julie Kovats Fulton, RMDIAI Secretary, P.O. Box 271881, Fort Collins, CO 80527


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