Cancer Treatment for Pets

Chemotherapy and a diagnosis of cancer in a pet is a stressful time for any pet owner. Not only is the diagnosis in itself a potentially frightening prospect but treatment, which may include chemotherapy, can be equally daunting. Nearly all of us have had our lives touched by someone who has been diagnosed with cancer and has endured chemotherapy as part of their treatment. In many people, the side effects of chemotherapy can at times seem worse than the disease. However, in the case of pets with cancer, the fear that your pet will spend most of the time being ill as a result of chemotherapy is unfounded.

Chemotherapy may be used as the sole treatment for certain types of cancers or it may be used in combination with other treatments such as surgery and radiation. It is generally recommended for cancers that have already spread to other areas of the body or that occur at more than one site simultaneously.

In addition, chemotherapy may be used for tumors that cannot be removed surgically or to shrink large tumors prior to surgical removal.

Chemotherapy offers a pet with cancer the chance to improve their quality of life, potentially providing prolonged remission ( and sometimes Cure) and reducing the chances of the cancer spreading elsewhere.

Compared to people, pets who receive chemotherapy experience fewer and less severe side effects because lower drug doses and fewer combination drugs are used compared with humans medicine. In addition, most side effected are predictable and pre-emptive treatment generally significantly reduces these potential problems.

How much does chemotherapy cost? This is a question that is best answered on an individual basis as it depends on the size of your pet, the number and types of drugs used for their particular chemotherapy protocol and the need for any monitoring tests. It can be expensive but if you are concerned regarding potential costs, we can often tailor a protocol for your pet that will provide some benefit while keeping within your budget.

So if you are faced with the diagnosis of cancer in your pet, remember that treatment options including chemotherapy exist. Therefore, before making any decisions about your pet’s future, it is always best to discuss all the options with your attending veterinarian first.

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