ATHENS -- Uga VIII, the mascot for University of Georgia athletic teams, has been diagnosed with lymphoma. According to a press release from the school, he is responding well to treatment, and the mascot is expected to continue appearances at athletic events as his health allows.
The dog missed the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 30, 2010, because of a gastrointestinal condition that prevented him from traveling with the football team. Further diagnostic tests revealed the more serious medical condition.
Uga VIII, whose registered name is Big Bad Bruce, is being treated by specialists at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine; his primary veterinarian is his namesake, Dr. Bruce Hollett. Dr. Hollett has provided medical care for the Uga line for many years, said Sonny Seiler, Uga's owner, in announcing this mascot during the 2010 football season.
Uga VIII is the great-great-great-great-great grandson of the original Uga. He was introduced to Georgia fans at the Oct. 16, 2010 Homecoming football game against Vanderbilt. Uga VIII was born Sept. 12, 2009. The Seilers, of Savannah, have provided mascots for UGA sporting events since 1956.
If Uga VIII is unable to appear at athletic events, Russ, the half-brother of Uga VII, will fill in for him. 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.