A pit bull formerly owned by NFL quarterback Michael Vick, and currently working as a therapy dog in Minnesota, is being treated for possible medical complications at a veterinary clinic in Eden Prairie.
8-year-old Hector had bone marrow aspiration late Friday morning at BluePearl Veterinary Partners. The bone marrow sample came back healthy, but doctors said his immune system is attacking his good healthy cells.
No cancer was detected, so the next step is to try medication. If there's no improvement, they may need to remove his spleen.
Doctors are concerned Hector may have an autoimmune condition triggered by babesia, a blood infection he likely acquired through fighting.
Hector was one of 51 dogs confiscated from Vick in 2007. Vick pleaded guilty to federal and state dog fighting charges and served in 18 months in prison during his two-year absence from football.
Hector has been living with a Rochester, Minn. family since 2008 and has become a certified therapy dog, helping teach children compassion toward animals.
"Hector is such a wonderful dog with an incredible story," said a statement from Dr. Jen Myers, medical director of BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Minnesota. "Our hope is that with the treatment he receives, he'll make a full recovery and will continue to have a much better life than where he came from."