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Pets may do more than provide unconditional love -- they may also help us heal. Studies have found that time spent with dogs decreased anxiety, side effects, and despair levels in cancer patients.

As part of our support services, Beverly Hills Cancer Center offers the help of Chiclet, our Miniature Doberman Pinscher. Chiclet weighs just nine pounds and is only six inches tall, and pet therapy is one of our newest cancer-fighting weapons we offer at our relaxing Los Angeles facility.

The story of Chiclet, our healing friend

Chiclet joined the medical team when Dr. Ari Gabayan, Chief of Radiation Oncology, adopted the rescued pet from the Humane Society after she was abandoned as a six-week-old puppy. Dr. Gabayan says he knew that Chiclet was a special dog because she was so calm and good-natured.

Dr. Gabayan believes that small dogs such as Chiclet are easier for patients to interact with, due to her small size and weight and took the step to have her trained to serve as our pet therapy dog. Chiclet knows to stay quiet and how to share her love with others.


How does pet therapy work?

Pet therapy was first introduced by Florence Nightingale, who observed that her patients felt better if they could interact with animals, over 100 years ago. Research has revealed that pet therapy, or “animal-assisted therapy,” helps to relieve stress and anxiety. When engaged with a friendly animal, endorphins, a brain chemical, are released. These are the “feel-good” chemicals that act as painkillers or produce a euphoric effect.

As the endorphins are released and the stress hormones reduced, the result of the medication or treatment may be enhanced, with the treatment itself more pleasant to experience. At Beverly Hills Cancer Center, we have assembled every amenity and service to foster healing and are very happy to have Chiclet as a member of our team!

Puppy on patients lap

A journey to health with the assistance of pet therapy

Our patients frequently ask to spend time with Chiclet on their treatment days and can even cuddle with her during treatments such as chemotherapy infusions.

Dr. Gabayan notes that the moment patients pick her up or stroke her, he sees an immediate boost in their mood and less anxiety. Talk about puppy love!

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Your health is important, and we welcome the opportunity to help you heal.


To schedule an appointment, please call Beverly Hills Cancer Center in Beverly Hills, California at (877) 320-5131 or Click the link below to access our Online Appointment Request

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