Joey’s 4 Month Recheck

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Friday 21 September 2012 5:54 pm



It’s been four months since Joey came to Azzore Veterinary Specialists for a CT Scan and tumor removal. Today he returned for a recheck. We have a special video of Dr. Dew showing Joey’s x-rays and explaining how Joey is doing today. Just click on the picture of Joey to view the video. You will also find the video transcript below.

Looks like we won’t need to see Joey until his annual recheck appointment.

Joey the Garden Cat

Video Transcript:

Well these are Joey’s x-rays from today and we are 4 months post tumor excision. We just wanted to follow up with some x-rays to see how our bone graft is doing and to make sure that there’s no recurrence of the tumor.

What we see here is that our bone graft has consolidated nicely. Everything looks fairly quiet. The bone edges, periosteum, all look nice and quiet. So, that’s good. No indication of tumor re-growth.

On the lateral, of course we see the big plate. And we see the new bone that’s formed behind in the open screw holes. So, everything here looks great for Joey.

Again, it’s always difficult with tumor cases to say we affected a 100% cure, but it certainly does look very, very good, and we would certainly expect Joey to continue to do well.

Joey’s Biopsy Slides

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Thursday 17 May 2012 4:51 pm


As promised, below are photo micrographs of the actual tumor itself. Thank you, Dr. Doss, for providing these for us and for Joey’s fans. (You have to love the sense of clinical humor in the caption of the final picture.)


Joey’s Pathology Report

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Wednesday 9 May 2012 6:19 pm


The final biopsy report is in and it’s good news for Joey the KTHV Garden Cat. Although the pathology report confirmed what we already knew — that Joey has osteosarcoma — the good news is, it hasn’t spread and all indications are that all of the tumor cells were removed. Watch as Dr. Terry Dew with Azzore Veterinary Specialists explains the results.  This video is close captioned on our YouTube channel, and you will also find a full transcript below the video on this page.

Video Transcript:

We have some really great news for Joey’s fans today. We got back the biopsy from Dr. Doss. The good news is that even though Joey does have an osteosarcoma, so it is definitely a bone tumor, it looks like we removed all of the tumor cells that were present and they did not invade through the thickness of the bone and into  the bone marrow cavity. All of that is great news for Joey. We expect that he should  go on and heal without any further difficulty. We look forward to an extremely long disease free interval, hopefully for the remainder of Joey’s life.

Dr. Doss is going to upload some photo micrographs of the actual tumor itself, and we hope to have those posted on our website in the next several days. Joey’s doing great. He’s done as well as he possibly could have with this kind of cancer. And we expect him to do well into the future.

Joey’s Preliminary Biopsy Results

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Friday 4 May 2012 12:53 pm


We received the preliminary biopsy report on Joey the Garden Cat. In this video, Dr. Dew explains the pathology report. Click on the photo to watch the video, or scroll down to read the transcript.

Video Transcript:

We got back some preliminary information on Joey’s biopsy so we just wanted to pass it along to all of Joey’s fans. It’s really great news.

There was some tissue in the medullary canal that we were a little bit concerned with so we submitted that to Dr. Doss. He examined it completely and there is no evidence of tumor.  It was just some fatty bone marrow so that would be considered normal. That’s great news.

We’re still waiting for the bony part of the biopsy to come back. That continues to be decalcified. Once we get those results we’ll pass that along. So far, all the news for Joey is great.

We did get a photo of him the other day. It looks like he is doing well on his leg, so all is going the best that we could ask for.

Joey’s One Week Recheck

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Monday 30 April 2012 6:31 pm


Joey the Garden Cat came back to Azzore today for his 1 week post-surgery recheck and bandage removal. Dr. Dew reports on his progress and the recovery plan going forward in the video below. Click on the picture to view the video, or scroll down the page to read the transcript.

Joey the Garden Cat's 1 Week Recheck



Hi. We’re here today with Joey. W’re at his one week post surgery recheck. We took off his bandage today. His incision is healing very, very well. He’s starting to place the leg. He got a little bit cranky when we took off his bandage, which is pretty typical, but he’s doing fine.

What’s going to happen for the next 6 weeks, we’re going to keep Joey confined to a smaller area. We’re not going to let him do any running or jumping because, unfortunately, he’s going to think he’s healed and he’s not. We need his tibia, the bone we removed the cancer from, to start to heal and his body learn to accommodate to the new stresses. So for 6 weeks he’s going to be confined to an area that’s big enough for him to move around. He’s got his litter pan, his food and water, but it’s not going to allow him to jump and get into trouble.

Then, we’ll take an x-ray to see how the bone graft is taking, and to make sure we don’t have any recurrence of the tumor, and that the bone is healed enough to let him get back to the garden, because we really expect Joey to be able to run and jump and climb the fence and do all of his garden cat activities.

From that point on then we will probably monitor Joey with x-ray and possibly CT Scan starting at 2 month intervals and then, hopefully, we’ll be able to stretch that out to 4 even 6 month intervals.

Joeys’ done great, he’s been a great patient and we really appreacite being able to help out.

Theba’s (Momma/Agent) Message to Joey’s Fans

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Monday 23 April 2012 12:33 pm


Theba's (Momma/Agent) Message to Joey's Fans


So we’re in Russellville. I’m Theba, I’m Joey’s momma/agent. We had a great ride this morning. Russellville is about an hour from Little Rock. And it’s his day — surgery day. So, we are going to wish and hope for the best, and I just wanted to thank everyone who has commented and sent something, your prayers, your thoughts… It has been a really sweet gesture and it has helped me a lot. So I thank you so much. We are here at Azzore Specialists… Veterinary Specialists, and we are very confident in Dr. Dew and the staff and I will leave him today and come and get him tomorrow afternoon. Keep you posted.

Joey the Garden Cat’s Treatment Plan

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Thursday 19 April 2012 2:53 pm

After discussions with oncologist Dr. David Vail, at the School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison, WI, and with Joey’s momma/agent and other staff at KHTV, a decision has been made on what course of treatment to pursue for Joey. Joey’s medical team and his KTHV family is confident that this is the best way to proceed. Joey’s prognosis is good for a cure, good limb function, and good cosmetics as well.

Click on the picture below to view Dr. Dew’s video message, or scroll down to read the transcript of the interview.

Dr. Dew Explains Joey the Garden Cat's Surgery Plan

We just want to update Joey’s Facebook fans. We’ve had some discussions with David Vail, the oncologist, and with the folks down at the TV station. On Monday we’re going to be doing a definitive surgery on Joey to remove his tumor.

If you remember, this is what his tumor looked like on his original CT scan. What we’re going to do is we’re going to preserve his leg, and we are going to remove that segment of bone that contains the tumor. Then we will put in a bone plate to span this area where the bone would be weaker to hopefully prevent any type of fracture, or post-op complication.

With this particular type of tumor, Joey has a good prognosis that we could effect a cure, and he could retain his leg and have good function and good cosmetics as well.

So, that’s our initial plan for Joey, and we’ll go forward with that on Monday.


Dr. Hale’s Joey Update on Today’s KTHV Morning Show

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Wednesday 18 April 2012 7:17 pm


Dr. Bob Hale joined the KTHV Morning Show to give another update on Joey the Garden Cat. Click on the picture below to view the video, or scroll down to read the transcript of the interview.

Dr. Bob Hale's Joey Update on Today's KTHV Morning Show

Liz: Out to the garden with Dr. Bob and Tom.

Tom: We have Joey right here below us on camera 7. We can say this, we know this about Joey, he’s not a big crowd kind of cat. He likes 1 or 2 people individually. There he is, turn around, we want to see your face, big guy. Joey’s like, “There’s the guy who gives me shots” and he’s walking away.

Tom: Dr. Bob Hale joining us. We have tens upon 20s of viewers, ok 10s upon 20s of thousands of viewers that are wondering about Joey and what the diagnosis and prognosis is. Joey went in to see Dr. Hale about a bruised front paw…

Dr. Hale: Front left leg…

Tom: Turns out one of your techs found a growth on one of his back legs.

Dr. Hale: We were going to do x-rays on his front leg, and they asked me “Which one of his back legs do you want to have an x-ray done on?” And I said, “No it’s his front leg.” And they said, “Well, there’s something going on with his back leg.” So, we went back and we looked at the back leg, and there was an obvious, very large bony nodule on his left tibia. So, when we felt that, I knew this was something very seriuos. We took an x-ray, and on the x-ray you can see that there is a nodule right here on the tibia.

Tom: You can see that plain as day.

Dr. Hale: You can see it very plain.

Tom: I’m going to pick this up. [picks up the laptop]

Dr. Hale: And you can feel it. It’s very, very obvious, but it’s in a place that you wouldn’t typically feel when you’re petting your pet. So, we went ahead and sent Joey to an orthopedic surgeon in Russellvile, Dr. Terry Dew, and Dr. Dew was nice enough to do some CT Scans. CT Scans are very, very elevated x-rays, they are 360 degree x-rays, sort of, and they can give us a much better diagnosis.

Dr. Hale: He went ahead and took a biopsy. A biopsy is where we cut into skin and go in and get a piece of bone, we take that out and send it to a pathologist. So, we sent this to a pathologist and it has come back as a bad cancer. An osteosarcoma. Now osteosarcoma in cats is very, very, very rare. Very rare. And, it’s not as bad a prognosis as it would be in dogs. In dogs it’s a very bad cancer and it’s life threatening and dogs are given probably 6 to 9 months to live. In the case of felines, it’s a little different. We don’t have a whole lot of information on osteosarcoma in cats. There’s not a lot of data, but what we do know is that it usually doesn’t metastasize, it usually doesn’t spread, to other parts of the body.

Dr. Hale: So, it’s a bad cancer, but I think we might be able to get this off and he might have a normal life. We have two options… two options. One is that we amputate the leg. That’s very serious, and I know everybody doesn’t want to see that happen. But, when you amputate the leg you totally cut all of the bad cancer out and there’s a lot less chance of it spreading or…

Tom: Or of it coming back.

Dr. Hale: Or of it coming back. Or the other option is that we go in and we let Dr. Dew take out this cancer, and he’ll go in and take out the piece of the bone with all of that bad cancer that you just saw on the x-ray. He’ll put a bone plate so that it will give strength to the bone, and then we’ll watch it for 2 or 3 or 4 months and see how the bone comes back. See if the cancer comes back.

Dr. Hale: So, there will be a recovery period, probably 2 or 3, 4 months. But, the prognosis is relatively good. I’m not going to say it’s gaurded, but it’s relatively good that we can get Joey back.

Tom: So there you go folks at home wanting to know. There it is. I know that Bob was with our evening crew last night explaining…

Dr. Hale: Yes, talking about this.

Tom: You wanted to know, and knowing is half the battle and for Joey the cat, which way did we choose here, Bob?

Dr. Hale: Well, I’m not sure that Theba has decided what we’re going to do yet, which one of these…

Tom: But, we’ll keep you posted. It’s 6:53, Bob, thank you for your time and that explanation. Bob Hale, ladies and gentlemen.

Dr. Hale: Good crowd

Tom: They’re cold. I want to get them to warm up. Bob, have you ever had a crowd?

Dr. Hale: We’ve never had a crowd like this. We’ve always been out here by ourselves.

Tom: We’ll be right back.

Dr. Hale’s Update on KTHV

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Tuesday 17 April 2012 6:45 pm


Dr. Bob Hale updated viewers on Joey the Garden Cat this afternoon on KTHV. You can view the video by clicking on the picture below, or scroll down to read the transcript of the interview.

Dr. Bob Hale's Update on Joey the Garden Cat

Liz: As you know, a tumor was recently found on Joey’s back leg. The pathology report came back today and it is bone cancer. Dr. Bob Hale, Joey’s veterinarian with Briarwood Animal Hospital, joins me now live to talk more about this. 

Liz: You just hate to hear this news, but the good news is it hasn’t spread and this is not life threatening for Joey.

Dr. Hale: At this point, hopefully, it’s not life threatening. This is a very, very, very uncommon cancer. It’s very uncommon. In fact, I’ll say that in the 25 years that I have been a veterinarian, this is the first one on a kitty cat that I’ve seen. An osteosarcoma is what it’s called.

Liz: He is going to have to have surgery soon.

Dr. Hale: Yes.

Liz: But, what are the two options that we are looking at here?

Dr. Hale: I was speaking to Dr. Dew (Dr. Terry Dew is the orthopedic surgeon), he is the surgeon that is going to do either one of these surgeries. When I was talking to Dr. Dew today, he had two options. One is pretty radical, where we would take the leg completely off. Now, when you take the leg completely off (amputation) amputees do very, very well. They get around very fine. It’s really not that big of a problem, and you totally eliminate the possibility of the cancer moving to other places. But, because this is a very uncommon cancer, osteosarcoma in a feline, Dr. Dew feels like we might be able to take just that part of the bone out, put a bone plate in, and that he might heal and not metastasize. In other words, the cancer wouldn’t move to other parts of the body.

Liz: He is going to have surgery soon, and the decision will be one on one of those two options, but what about his recovery time?

Dr. Hale: Recovery is going to be not that difficult. It’s really not. Dogs and cats, they just go with this very well. We are going to keep him out of pain, of course. When we decide to take the tumor off, he’ll be on some pain medications for probably 3 or 4 weeks, and he’ll be limited in his exercise, but it will be a 2 or 3 month recovery period.

Liz: OK and we have the best people looking over him. Alright, thank you Dr. Bob Hale. As soon as a decision is made on what to do and when, we will have the surgeon update you, of course. You can follow him on our KTHV page, Joey appreciates all your help, all of Dr. Dew’s help, all the prayers and posts coming from all over: Mexico, Germany, Italy, and even Kentucky a lot of prayers for Joey.

Liz: Well, thank you so much for being with us.

Joey Update Tuesday April 10

Posted by azzore | Joey the Garden Cat | Tuesday 10 April 2012 9:16 pm


A Special Message from Dr. Dew:

As promised an update for all of Joey’s fans.

Joey the KHTV Garden CatJoey left our clinic today in good spirits after his CT exam and biopsy procedure. You can find some images of Joey’s CT scan at We had a turn around time befitting a “star” on Joey’s CT exam from Dr. Victor Rendano at eVet Diagnostics. Dr. Rendano is a board certified Veterinary Radiologist with additional certification in radiation therapy. We are very fortunate to have a radiologist with Dr. Rendano’s experience and world renowned expertise on Joey’s treatment team. The great news from Dr. Rendano is that he saw no evidence of tumor in Joey’s chest and felt while the mass in the leg is a tumor it does not appear to be extremely aggressive.

Joey had two biopsy samples taken; these samples were sent to Dr. Jason Doss of Doss and Hennings Veterinary Pathology Service in Little Rock. Both Drs. Doss and Hennings are affiliated with UAMS and through their expertise will determine the exact type of tumor Joey has.

Once that information is available I will consult Dr. David Vail, the endowed chair and director of the Barbara A. Suran Comparative Oncology Research Institute, at the School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison, WI and a treatment plan for Joey will be formulated.

I am privileged to work with veterinary specialists of this caliber and you can all be confident that Joey will receive the best care available. More updates will be posted as they become available.

Thanks for all of your support,

Dr. Dew.



Joey the KTHVGarden Cat’s Cat Scan

This is a 3D reconstruction of the mass in Joey’s leg viewed from the front.


Joey the KTHV Garden Cat Bone Scan

This is the mass viewed from the side, showing that the mass involves the bone.


Joey the KTHV Garden Cat Bone Scan

Joey the KTHV Garden Cat Bone Scan



These are actual CT images (transverse) that demonstrate the mass and it’s involvement with the tibia.





And the good news:

Joey the KTHV Garden Cat Bone Scan

This is a cross-section of Joey’s chest.  There is no evidence of disease in the lung or heart!

We will keep you posted on Joey’s progress. We appreciate the prayers of support of all of Joey’s fans, and know that Joey, his momma/agent, and the entire staff of KHTV appreciates each and everyone of you as well.

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