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VCA Pet Cancer Care Alliance
VCA Pet Cancer Care logo
We are a VCA Pet CancerCare Center offering hope, compassion, and healing.                            

As a VCA Pet CancerCare Center, we are part of a network of more than 30 centers across North America. This collaboration   brings advanced treatment options, state-of-the-art technology, and expertise to achieve the optimal outcome for your pet. In   partnership with you and your primary care veterinarian, our aim is to offer you compassionate care choices that meet your goals   and ensure your pet’s best quality of life.

Our Center Is Comprised Of Four Teams:

Medical Oncology

This team of board certified medical oncologists, internists, cardiologists, and technicians are some of the most experienced and   highly trained in the world. They work tirelessly to provide care that is unparalleled.  We lead the world in incorporating cutting-   edge medical therapy designed to provide enhanced quality of life while controlling or curing cancer with anticancer drugs including molecular therapeutics plus cancer treatment employing new devices or methods to engage the body’s own cancer defense mechanisms.

Radiation Oncology/Diagnostic Imaging
Radiation treatment has proven to be a vital tool for improving the health of a number of cancer patients. This critical aspect of care is quite unique because it is performed in our own state of the art facilities in Carlsbad, California. We offer the most advanced TrueBeam radiotherapy system available on the west coast for the elimination of tumors while sparing healthy, normal tissue.
 
With the TrueBeam system, treatments can be performed with ease, precision, and speed. This technology makes it possible to deliver fast, accurate image-guided treatments within just a few minutes per day.

We also work in cooperation with regional human radiation oncologists and radiation therapy centers offering the robotically, computer controlled, Cyberknife stereotactic radiosurgery.

Our center stands ready to diagnose each problem with state-of-the-art-in-house diagnostics including Computerized Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), ultrasound, color flow Doppler, and digital radiology.

Surgical Oncology
Cancer is the most curable of all chronic diseases and surgery is critical in helping to achieve that cure. The best chance for cure is with initial surgery. Therefore, having specially trained surgeons is vital. Our center features an experienced team of highly trained board-certified surgeons and surgical nurses who provide kind, compassionate care for each and every surgery patient. The team approach is used to employ the most effective method for curing or controlling cancer: surgery. Indeed, using an integrated approach, we employ the very latest surgical procedures in concert with radiation and medical, surgical procedures.

Emergency and Critical Care
Cancer patients need to have someone standing by day or night, rain or shine, in case the unexpected happens. Fortunately, we     have a team of the most highly trained specialists in emergency and critical care at each of our three hospitals. If the unexpected   happens, we are here for you.

What Is A Veterinary Oncologist?

 A board certified veterinary oncologist is a veterinary internal medicine specialist who has also obtained additional training in   veterinary oncology. A veterinary oncologist has specialized knowledge in the diagnosis of cancer, the staging of tumors, the   development of treatment plans, and the administration of chemotherapy.

When your pet is faced with cancer, a veterinary oncologist will typically work in concert with your pet's general practitioner veterinarian in order to obtain the best possible medical outcome for your pet. A veterinary oncologist can help your pet by developing treatment plans that incorporate one or all of the following options:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy

While your general practitioner veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems, certain diseases like cancer require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in veterinary oncology.

Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Oncologist?

Just as in humans, a pet with cancer typically needs the help of an oncologist to help diagnose and treat the disease. Veterinary oncologists determine the most appropriate course of treatment and coordinate the treatment program for pets with cancer. They also frequently serve as consultants to veterinarians in private practice to ensure that their patients receive the best treatment possible for their cancer.

You can be assured that a veterinarian who refers you and your pet to a veterinary oncologist is one who is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her illness.

While in some cases, your veterinarian may be able to simply consult with the veterinary oncologist about your pet's care, in other cases it is necessary to actually refer you and your pet to the veterinary oncologist for more advanced diagnostics and treatment. Board-certified veterinary internists/oncologists may also have access to specialized diagnostic or treatment tools that a general practitioner veterinarian may not have.

My Pet Has Cancer. Now What?

Cancer does appear to be becoming more common in pets, most likely because they are simply living longer. The most important point to realize about this dreaded disease, however, is that just as in people, many forms of the disease can be easily treated, managed, and even cured. Early detection and specialized care are leading to increased survival and cure rates in almost all the types of cancers that afflict pets.

From surgery to chemotherapy to radiation therapy, veterinary cancer specialists can offer your pet the very latest diagnostic and treatment options and the best chance of survival. With optimal treatment, cancer in many cases simply becomes another manageable chronic disease.

If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, it is important not to become overwhelmed. Ask your veterinarian to write down the most important points for you to review later. Although the disease is serious, treatment decisions generally do not need to be made quickly. If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, however, you will either want to have your general practice veterinarian work in consultation with a veterinary oncologist, or be referred to one of these specialists for your pet's treatment.

Veterinary oncologists typically treat:

  • Common Cancers
  • Skin tumors
  • Mammary tumors
  • Lymphosarcoma
  • Endocrine tumors
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Hemangiosarcoma

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

In most cases, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care and will work in tandem with the veterinary   oncologist, veterinary radiation oncologist, and any other members of your pet's veterinary health care team.

Did You Know?

Dogs and cats have higher age adjusted incidence rates for many kinds of cancers than do humans. For example, dogs are 35   times more likely to get skin cancer than are humans. They suffer from 8 times the amount of bone cancer and 4 times the   amount of breast cancer. However, humans are more likely to get lung and stomach cancers than pets

Innovative Treatment Options

Our team is at the forefront of emerging technologies and therapies in veterinary oncology, including immunotherapy, personalized cancer therapies that “target” a pet’s cancer with novel new medicines, cutting-edge cancer surgery tools such as lasers, radiofrequency drug delivery systems, and advanced radiation oncology to include technology that precisely targets cancer while sparing normal tissue.

We offer the most advanced TrueBeam radiotherapy system available on the west coast for the elimination of tumors while sparing healthy, normal tissue.

We also work in cooperation with regional human radiation oncologists and radiation therapy systems offering the robotically, computer-controlled, Cyberknife® stereotactic radiosurgery.

In addition to providing state-of-the-art care in radiation, medical, surgical and immune therapeutics, we also discover, adapt, develop and improve new treatments for the future as a part of UC San Diego Moore’s Cancer.

World-Wide Collaboration

In addition to being a VCA Pet CancerCare Center, we also serve as a teaching and research hospital, attracting oncologists from around the world to train and collaborate with our internationally recognized specialists. Our leading veterinary oncologists have not only influenced the way cancer care is delivered to pets but have also contributed to new cancer therapies for human patients, such as developing novel immunotherapeutics to enhance the immune system.

While these advancements in technology have led to better and more accurate diagnosis and treatments of cancer in both people and pets, our primary focus is the quality of life. That’s why we have created a highly collaborative environment to ensure we are doing the best we can for your pets. Thanks for letting us be part of your family.

How Can I Keep My Pet From Getting Cancer?

Just as in people, there is no proven way to keep your pet from getting cancer. You can, however, take steps to minimize the risks. Avoid any known predisposing causes, such as not spaying or neutering pets, or leaving pets exposed to sunlight. Also make sure your pet has regularly scheduled checkups and follow your veterinarian's advice regarding any necessary screening tests.
 

What Additional Training Does A Veterinary Oncologist Have?

Any veterinarian who wants to specialize in oncology must first be certified as an internal medicine specialist. Veterinarians who want to become board certified in internal medicine must seek additional, intensive training to become a specialist and earn this prestigious credentialing. Specialty status is granted by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). A veterinarian who has received this specialty status will list the initials, 'DACVIM,' after his or her DVM degree. Or, the veterinarian may indicate that he or she is a 'Diplomate' of the ACVIM. The word 'Diplomate' typically means the specialist has achieved the following:  

Obtained a traditional 8 year veterinary degree (four years of college plus four years of veterinary school).

Completed an additional three to six years of advanced training, including a residency at a veterinary teaching hospital where the veterinarian will have trained with some of the best experts in the field and obtained hands on experience.

Completed the credentialing application process established by the ACVIM

Passed a rigorous general examination.

Once a veterinarian is board certified in internal medicine, he or she may seek additional specialty status in veterinary oncology. Internal medicine specialists must obtain additional training in this area and sit for a second, even more intensive examination. These doctors will list their credentials after their boarded status, for example, as 'DAVCIM (Oncology).'

When your pet needs the care of a veterinary internal medicine specialist/veterinary oncologist, years of intensive training and additional education will be focused on helping him or her to recover from the disease and/or enjoy the highest quality of life possible.

What are Cancer Treatment Methods?

The goal of cancer therapy is to destroy abnormal cancer cells while sparing normal cells. An important difference in human vs. animal oncology is that the goal with humans, due to our extended life spans, is to cure the disease. In animals, the goal is more to extend the length of life while still maintaining its quality. In many cases, a veterinary oncologist will combine some or all of the treatment options outlined below in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet.  

Surgery

Radiation Treatment

Chemotherapy

Immunotherapy
 

Will Chemotherapy Make My Pet Sick?

Your veterinary oncologist will give you specific instructions regarding your pet's chemotherapy, but in general, you should be aware that pets typically handle chemotherapy regimens far better than people do. First, as cancer treatment for both humans and small animals has become more sophisticated, the side effects created by chemotherapy regimens have become less severe. Second, chemotherapy administration in animals is less aggressive than it is in humans, so animals typically do not become as sick from the side effects as do people.

Finally, veterinary oncologists have many options at their disposal to help keep your pet comfortable during treatment for his or her disease. From pain management options to special nutritional recommendations to medications that can help lessen the nausea associated with chemotherapy, be assured that veterinary oncologists can keep most pets surprisingly comfortable during treatment. In fact, one of the biggest hurdles to treating pets with cancer is that many owners imagine their pet's treatment will be more difficult than it really is.
 

Our Oncology Team

Veterinary Technician
Supervisor, Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistant

Our Oncology Services

Bone Marrow Aspirate
Bone Marrow Transplant
Cancer Education
Cancer Staging
Cancer Support
Chemotherapy
Contrast Enhanced Radiation Therapy (CERT)
Immunotherapy
Metronomic Therapy
Palliative Treatment of Cancer Pain
Radiation Therapy

VCA PetCancerCareTM
 

A whole new way to look at pet cancer care for the world’s most important pet: Yours

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