Meet the NorthStar VETS Team: Dorothy Jackson DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)


Dorothy Jackson, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology) is a doctor in the Oncology service at NorthStar VETS. In this blog post and video below, she talks about how she got into veterinary medicine, the types of cases she sees, and what she loves about working at NorthStar VETS.

Today’s patient: Taylor Blair
We caught up with Dr. Dorothy Jackson, who was examining one of her patients, Taylor Blair. “She’s an older Springer Spaniel and is still considered a hunting dog. She can still hunt while doing chemotherapy. She’s under chemo for lymphoma, one of the more common cancer diseases we see in dogs and cats. She presented for enlarged lymph nodes, and now with chemotherapy she’s feeling better and the lymph nodes are gone away. It’s not a disease we cure, but we can put in remission to where she can go out and hunt and do her normal routine.”

How Dr. Jackson got into veterinary medicine
oncologyDr. Jackson’s passion for helping animals started as a child. “As cliche as it sounds, I have always loved working with animals. When I was growing up, I wanted to either be a veterinarian or a marine biologist, and I thought about a lot of other career options, but I got a job in high school with a local veterinarian and loved it. As I was going through veterinary school, I really liked the aspects of Oncology and working with clients to give their dogs and cats good quality of life for as long as we could. After veterinary school, I went through my internship and residency to become specialized to do that. Undergrad and veterinary school were both at Mississippi State University. I was born and raised in the South. I did two internships, one at the University of Missouri, and a specialty internship at a private practice in Atlanta. Residency brought me north. I did part of my time at the University of Pennsylvania, and the rest at a private practice in Connecticut. When I came up north for that, I stayed in the area, enjoyed it, and eventually ended up here at NorthStar VETS.”

The types of cases Dr. Jackson sees in Oncology
Dr. Jackson continued our conversation by talking about the kind of cases she sees, and she sees a variety of different cancers in pets. “I see mostly dogs and cats here at the hospital. There’s a new therapy for melanoma that horses are responsive to as well, so I do make a few farm calls for them. Typically, lymphoma is the most common thing we see, but we see bone tumors, splenic masses, splenic tumors, abdominal tumors, and most of the cases we see here now can be controlled with chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is in the works, so eventually we’ll be seeing things like incompletely excised skin tumors where we follow up surgery with radiation therapy.”

What Dr. Jackson loves about working at NorthStar VETS
The team at NorthStar VETS works together closely to provide world-class care to its patients. “One of the biggest draws is not just the medicine we provide, but the people here. It’s a great working environment. The days in Oncology are not always happy days and we have our rough days here and there, but having people you can work with to get through those times and being able to work closely with the Surgeons, the Internists, and the Radiologists to provide the best care we can for these patients is good.”

“Don’t let the word ‘cancer’ scare you, because there are definitely options out there.”

Dr. Jackson and the team at NorthStar VETS are always available to help you and your pets. In her final words to us during this interview, this was the most important thing she wanted pet owners to know. “If you ever have any questions or concerns, definitely give me a call. I always tell owners, ‘Don’t let the word cancer scare you, because there are definitely options out there.’ If you’re not sure what you want to do, at least come in, chat, and we can figure out the best option.”

Learn more about the Oncology service at NorthStar VETS

Dorothy Jackson, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)Dorothy Jackson, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Originally from the South, Dr. Jackson attended Mississippi State University for her undergraduate studies and veterinary school. Following veterinary school in 2009, she completed a rotating internship at the University of Missouri followed by a specialty internship at Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Atlanta. Dr. Jackson was lucky enough to obtain both academic and private practice experience during her residency, training at the University of Pennsylvania and Veterinary Cancer Center in Connecticut. Following her residency, Dr. Jackson obtained board certification in Oncology and worked at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital for 2.5 years before joining the Northstar VETS team.

Being an Italian from the South, Dr. Jackson loves food. She loves cooking new recipes and trying new restaurants with her girlfriend…another Italian. When not traveling to new places, they enjoy their time at home with their 3 cats who keep them quite entertained.

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