A 47-Year-Old Dolphin Named Lucky Is Currently Undergoing Cancer Treatments at  Brookfield Zoo in Illinois

Veterinarians say the 500-pound dolphin has squamous cell carcinoma.

Lucky, the bottlenose dolphin, hasn’t been so fortunate with his health lately. Since September, he's been undergoing testing and treatment at Brookfield Zoo in Illinois.

Veterinarians say the 500-pound dolphin has squamous cell carcinoma, a relatively common type of skin and oral cancer that can affect both humans and animals. 

But Lucky has quite a group of medical professionals and marine mammal specialists taking care of him. They aggressively treat his cancer with cryotherapy, applying extreme cold to an area to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. 

Vets use custom-made brass medical instruments to apply liquid nitrogen to Lucky’s cancerous lesions. They say it takes about two minutes per lesion.

The zoo staff says Lucky has been 100 percent cooperative with the treatments he receives three to four times a week.

As part of his ongoing medical care, the 47-year-old dolphin gets regular ultrasounds and CT scans to see if cancer has spread. 

After treatments, Lucky swims with his friends and gets an extra-large herring snack. Here’s to a healthy and "Lucky" future.

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