The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies Bicentenary

Guided radiation aids dog’s improvement from cancer

Dog successfully treated for aggressive cancer, thanks to high-tech therapy.

A family’s pet dog has responded well to advanced radiotherapy treatment for an aggressive tumour in his nose.

Ralph, a five-year-old Gordon Setter, was referred to vets with repeated nosebleeds, and tests confirmed a growth in his nose.

The tumour was affecting Ralph’s breathing, and without treatment would have proved fatal.

The family pet was the first patient to be treated at the Dick Vet using radiation therapy delivered by the most advanced machine of its type – exclusively available at the Hospital for Small Animals.

Following treatment, Ralph’s tumour has shrunk considerably, his nose bleeds have completely resolved and he is again enjoying life to the full.

Bespoke therapy

Ralph was successfully treated for a tumour.
Ralph was successfully treated at the Hospital for Small Animals.

Vets treated Ralph using a recently installed linear accelerator, known as a Vital Beam.

The radiotherapy beam can vary in shape and intensity and, together with sophisticated software, it can deliver radiation in a very advanced form that is normally only available in human medicine.

The radiation treatment given in this case, known as intensity-modulated radiation therapy, can deliver a precise dose of radiation to almost any tumour shape.

This allows a relatively high, targeted dose to nasal tumour such as Ralph’s, while limiting the amount of radiation that might affect nearby healthy tissue, such as the eyes, oral cavity and brain.

The system’s imaging facility, known as cone-beam CT imaging, enables accurate patient positioning, so treatment is safe and delivered very precisely.

Radiation therapy of this type is given under general anaesthetic to ensure the animal lies still.

Targeted radiation therapy allows for flexibility in treatment; with fewer doses if necessary, to limit the time animals spend in hospital under anaesthesia. We are delighted with Ralph’s progress and hope he will enjoy a good quality of life for a long time with his loving owners.

Magdalena ParysRoyal (Dick) Vet School of Veterinary Studies


The Dick Vet team were reassuring at a scary time, and had such determination to fight for Ralph. We knew he was getting the best care possible, and after his treatments we always brought home a dog that had been well cared for. His condition is significantly better now. We have such confidence in everyone at the Dick Vet … they are a dream team.

Ms Jenna ForbesRalph’s owner
About the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. Our purpose-built campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than eight hundred staff and almost fourteen hundred students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos.

The School comprises:

We represent the largest concentration of animal science related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.