Chemotherapy is one type of treatment available for pets with cancer. Chemotherapy may be considered to directly decrease the amount of cancer within your pet, to prevent or delay spread of cancer, or in combination with radiation therapy to improve the efficacy of this treatment. There are a variety of chemotherapy options including some chemotherapy that is given by you at home. Research in both human and veterinary oncology continues to lead to more specific types of chemotherapy to treat very specific cancers.
Chemotherapy is often a very daunting topic for pet owners. However, in our patients, chemotherapy is typically well tolerated. The majority of pets experience minimal side effects, often requiring no intervention or additional supportive care by you at home. We often provide supportive medications with the first treatment just to have on hand in case your pet experiences decreased appetite, nausea, or soft stool. The goal of a veterinary oncologist is to treat cancer but primarily to maintain your pet’s quality of life.