Chemotherapy in Dogs and Cats
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with oral or injectable medications. The drugs are used to target and destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is an essential component of oncology care and can be highly effective in treating various types of cancer in animals.
Chemotherapy drugs are administered either orally or by injection and are then distributed throughout the bloodstream and body to target cancer cells in many sites at once. In general, they work by attacking rapidly dividing cells in the body.
Your medical oncologist will discuss if chemotherapy is appropriate for your pet and the pros and cons of treatment. Our primary goal is to preserve an excellent quality of life for your pet for as long as possible. Thankfully, chemotherapy in pets is generally well-tolerated, and most patients handle chemotherapy very well with minimal to no side effects. Dogs and cats are able to maintain an excellent quality of life during treatment and still participate in the normal daily activities they enjoy. However, chemotherapy treatment does carry risks, and a small percentage of our patients can suffer side effects. The most common side effects seen include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or a temporary drop in white blood cell counts, which can increase the risk of infection. Medications can be prescribed to manage these side effects and improve comfort. Regular bloodwork testing is also performed to monitor the pet’s response to therapy and make adjustments to the treatment plan if needed. Benefits and risks specific to your pet’s diagnosis will be discussed with you prior to any therapy being initiated so you can make an informed decision for your pet’s care. Our goal is to balance the benefits of treatment with potential side effects to ensure a good quality of life both during and after treatment.
Surgical Oncology page coming soon
Veterinary Radiation Oncologist