UPDATE II

Uga VIII was laid to rest at Sanford Stadium on Saturday. On hand were members of the Seiler family, and two of Uga VIII’s veterinarians, Dr. Amanda Perry and Dr. Bruce Hollett of UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, who was the inspiration for Uga VIII’s AKC-registered name, Big Bad Bruce.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Wendy Seiler – whose husband Charles is the mascots’ chief handler – read the eulogy to Uga VIII:

“Just two months ago, Uga VIII was getting settled in our home. He seemed to take great pride in rearranging our furniture and redistributing our son’s toys in a neat pile in the backyard. “Uga VIII never really got a chance to get used to the game day experience. . . .but he accepted the challenge and took his place along the sideline to carry on the honored tradition. It is sad to watch a young, vibrant dog get sick and have to face such a terrible disease. We are fortunate that Uga VIII passed away in his sleep, on his bed, with his toys.”

The Seilers issued special thanks to their Savannah veterinarian, Dr. Stanley Lester, and to a number of UGA administrative and athletic personnel, including President Michael F. Adams, football coach Mark Richt, athletic staff members Charley Whittemore and Kenny Pauley, and Athletic Director Greg McGarity, who made the necessary arrangements for Uga VIII’s burial.

UPDATE

Big Bad Bruce has passed away…

ATHENS — Uga VIII, the white male English Bulldog mascot of the University of Georgia, passed away early Friday. He had been diagnosed with lymphoma in early January of this year. No formal funeral ceremony is scheduled.

Born Sept. 12, 2009, Uga VIII had been introduced to the Bulldog Nation Saturday, Oct. 16, during pre-game ceremonies of the Georgia-Vanderbilt game in Sanford Stadium. He served the final six regular season games of 2010.

According to the Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler family, long-time owners of the Bulldog line of mascots, “Russ” will serve again as the interim mascot. Russ served as interim mascot the final two games of 2009 and the first six games of 2010 prior to Uga VIII being introduced. The continuous line of Georgia Bulldog mascots have been owned by the Seiler family for more than 50 years.

UGA VIII has lymphoma, is responding well to treatment

AJC – By Kristi E. Swartz

Uga VIII, the University of Georgia’s beloved mascot, has been diagnosed with lymphoma, the university said in a news release Friday afternoon.

The English bulldog is responding well to treatment and is expected to continue his appearances at athletic events “as his health allows,” the release said.

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that occurs when white blood cells that help protect the body from infection and disease begin behaving abnormally.

Canine lymphoma is defined as the occurrence of malignant tumors in a dog’s organs, usually in the lymph nodes, liver, or spleen.

Uga VIII took over as Georgia’s mascot at the Oct. 16 homecoming game.

The dog missed the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 30 because of a gastrointestinal condition that prevented him from traveling with the football team. Further diagnostic tests revealed the more serious medical condition, the university said.

Uga VIII is being treated by university specialists at UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, according to the university.

The dog’s primary veterinarian is Dr. Bruce Hollett, who has provided medical care for the dogs in the Uga line for years, according to Uga’s owner, Sonny Seiler.

The AJC has attempted to contact Seiler and the College of Veterinary Medicine. A spokesman for the university said the school will not give specifics about Uga’s condition, citing HIPAA laws. HIPAA is the the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which guards privacy of medical records.

If Uga VIII is unable to appear at athletic events, Russ, the half-brother of Uga VII, will fill in for him, the university said.

Russ filled in at the final two games of the 2009 season following the death of Uga VII as well as the first six games of 2010. He also was present at the Liberty Bowl game last month because of Uga VIII’s illness.

Uga VIII’s registered name is Big Bad Bruce. He is the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of the original Uga, who reigned from 1956-66, and is the grandson of Uga VI. He was born Sept. 12, 2009, and weighs 55 pounds.

Russ was 4-4 after taking over from his half-brother Uga VII, who died of heart-related causes Nov. 19, in just his second year.

Uga VII was 16-7 after taking over for Uga VI, Georgia’s winningest mascot at 87-27 from 1999-2008.

Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler, the longtime owner of this line of English bulldogs, had this to say about Uga VIII last November:

“He is every bit as good as his predecessors and probably exceeds them. He is a good-looking dog and in excellent health. He has two more months to grow and fill out. He won’t get any taller,” Seiler told the AJC.

“He has a great head. He resembles his grandfather, Uga VI. It’s easy to get their pictures mixed up, which is what we want. We had a choice of three puppies directly descended from Uga VI, and he’s certainly lived up to the expectations so far,” Seiler told the AJC.

General Overview Of Canine Lymphoma

Canine lymphoma (also called lymphosarcoma) is the most common type of cancer to affect dogs. Lymphoma is defined as the occurrence of malignant tumors in a dog’s organs, usually in the lymph nodes, liver, or spleen. Lymphoma can also be present in the digestive tract, as well as in the eyes and skin.

The first documented case of canine Lymphoma was in a nine-year old crossbred dog, in the late 1980’s. It was identified in the dog’s prostate, and treatment was attempted with cytotoxic drugs. Since not much was known about this condition, the dog did not survive. With today’s technology and veterinary medicine, there is a fairly high remission rate with Canine Lymphoma.

The life expectancy of a dog diagnosed with lymphoma is between 9 and 12 months. While this may seem discouraging, it is possible to send a dog’s lymphoma into remission with constant medical care, and regular chemotherapy.

With proper care, the survival rate of a dog diagnosed with lymphoma can be raised to 50%. With intensive chemotherapy, the average chance of remission is from 60-90%. Without treatment, most dogs will only survive for an average of two months.

Canine Lymphoma can be present wherever there is lymph tissue in your dog’s body. It can travel quickly, especially if your dog is under significant stress. Lymphoma causes death in the same way that many other cancers do: by inducing organ failure.

Though lymphoma may sound like a fatal condition, it actually has a much higher remission rate than some other cancers that can affect dogs. With a prompt diagnosis, as well as an intensive treatment plan, the chances of survival are moderately good.

Chemotherapy generally refers to the treatment of cancer with powerful drugs that kill cells. These drugs are used to kill the cancer cells, but can harm healthy cells as well (which causes the side effects associated with this treatment). Combination chemotherapy usually involves chemotherapy drugs in addition to radiation treatment, which is usually the most effective against canine lymphoma.

The chemotherapy process for dogs is slightly less intensive than chemotherapy in humans, since the dosage ratio of the cell-killing drugs is much lower.

Chemotherapy drugs are targeted to be the most toxic to fast-growing cells, such as cancer cells. However, the cells in your dog’s hair follicle are also fast-growing, and are particularly susceptible to damage by cytotoxic drugs.

In dogs, the areas most commonly afflicted with hair loss are around the face, paws, and in local regions near the malignant tumor(s).

If you haven’t heard what Fran Tarkenton had to say regarding Mark Richt last Friday on 680 The Fan, you probably should. The most famous former Georgia Bulldog (non-Herschel division) eviscerated the Bulldogs’ coach and strongly suggested the program needs a new leader.

Francis T. began boldly — “What has happened over the last week with Georgia has been the most disturbing time I have seen in a long time; you know, people don’t want to look at reality” — and didn’t pause for breath. (A partial transcript is available at SportsRadioInterviews.com.)

Richt’s all-is-well press briefing of Jan. 4 apparently set Tarkenton’s teeth to gnashing. Concerning the announcement that Richt would re-immerse himself in the finer points of football, Tarkenton said this:

“Holy cow! Yesterday, where Mark Richt says, ‘I have been freed from administrative duties to spend more time on football.’ Then I quote him, he said, ‘The moves give [me] more time to study the game of football and be an expert and be on the cutting edge.’ What has he been doing for nine years? I have never heard any college, high school, professional coach [say] that [he] was not able to spend enough time on football.”

Asked by host Christopher Rude if Rich might have been devoting too much time to academics or somesuch, Tarkenton said:

“No, it sounds like a cop-out! It sounds like, ‘I am not taking responsibility. I have other things.’ We hire people to be football coaches. We pay him and others millions of dollars to be football coaches, not to be administrators.

He didn’t do a very good job there — we had 12 people arrested this year, including a top-ranked quarterback who was a top kid that is now going to play LSU [Zach Mettenberger], and that has been going on forever.

“[Richt] is a wonderful guy. He is a good Christian guy. He wants to be a missionary. He goes on missions. That is a wonderful thing. But do you know the religion of Nick Saban? Or Gus Malzahn? Or Chip Kelly playing for the national championship?

I don’t think we care what their religion [is]. We hire them to be football coaches. If we are hiring religious instructors, let’s go to the Candler School of Theology over here in Decatur and get some of their people to come and coach our football team.”

Let the record note that Tarkenton is himself the son of a preacher. Which isn’t the same as being the son of a diplomat, and is evident throughout this diatribe. More Fran:

“You’ve been there nine years [10, actually] and you say [you] haven’t had time to spend on football — if you don’t think that’s a problem, Georgia people, and [athletic director] Greg McGarity, if you don’t think the signs are there, my friend … Bad news does not get better with time.”

Regarding last week’s announcements that two top in-state prospects plan to sign with Alabama and Auburn, Tarkenton said:

“We’re going to lose the elite players this year. We haven’t in the past — we’ve gotten the elite player. We either didn’t choose right or we didn’t coach right, because we didn’t have success.

“Right now our program has had three years of regression, and I don’t see any way this thing is going to get out of the ditch. When I read comments like [Richt’s] … we’re putting spin on everything.

In the meantime Alabama and Auburn and Tennessee are working and kicking our butts and recruiting people and getting coaches that have spread offenses. I mean, can you imagine? We scored two field goals against Central Florida.”

The son of a preacher then offered a benediction:

“I think Greg McGarity has got to look at this awfully hard, I think the signs are that we have a program that is in big trouble.”

And now you’re asking: How noteworthy is this? My answer: Very. It’s one thing for some newspaper guy (like this one) to carp about Richt, quite another for a most distinguished alum to sound the alarm. In the space of nine minutes, Sir Francis essentially said what more and more folks are thinking: That Georgia needs a new coach.

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Uga VII Is Dead!

Pray for UGA VIII

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