Chemotherapy for Pets
Chemotherapy in veterinary medicine is much different than in human medicine. Chemotherapy is an option for many animals faced with the devastating diagnosis of cancer. Chemotherapy is generally a palliative procedure, although some cancers are much more sensitive to the chemo and can achieve a cure.
In the unfortunate event your pet becomes diagnosed with cancer, you can be sure our team here at Cobequid Animal Hospital will be here for you every step of the way. From diagnosis, to creating the appropriate treatment plan, you will have guidance all throughout. As alarming as a cancer diagnosis may be, you can rest assured that pets of all species and breeds have higher chances of surviving these days, due to advances made in veterinary medicine. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team at (902) 865-8110 if you wish to learn more about our chemotherapy services for pets.
What are the symptoms of cancer in pets?
Some of the most common symptoms of cancer in dogs, cats and other pets are swelling/masses in the stomach or other areas of the body, bleeding from the mouth or other areas, sudden weight changes, laboured breathing/eating, non-healing wounds, discoloured skin and constant vomiting/diarrhea. If you see any of these warning signs, please contact our team immediately. Aside from symptoms of cancer, these can also be indicators of other serious illnesses.
How common is cancer in pets?
According to trusted veterinary organizations like the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, 1 in 4 dogs and about 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer at some point in their lives. These rates are similar to the cancer rate in humans.
What is chemotherapy like for cats and dogs?
In veterinary medicine, we are not giving the high toxic doses of drugs that are given in human medicine, attempting to destroy the cancers. In veterinary medicine, we give therapeutic doses of chemo to extend the animal’s life and to give the animal a better quality of life, but we don’t necessarily expect to reach a cure.
Because of this, animals do not experience nausea frequently associated with chemotherapy – such as vomiting or diarrhea – nor do they experience hair loss. Animals generally handle chemotherapy very well and tend to have very few side effects, if any at all! Most chemotherapy drugs are given intravenously, but some are given orally.
How long does my pet need to go through chemotherapy?
Every patient is different. Depending on cancer stage and type, your pet may only need treatment for a few weeks, while others may need treatment for the remainder of their life.
If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, chemotherapy may be worth your consideration – it can help to extend the time and quality of life for your pet, and therefore for you as well.