Shona Haydon BVetMed CertAVP(SAM) MRCVS RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Medicine
Paul Harris BVSc MRCVS
Chemotherapy can provide a valuable treatment method if your pet is diagnosed with a cancerous process. We are able to provide advanced chemotherapy (using Doxorubicin based protocols) for your pet in a way that is as safe as possible for your pet, your family and our clinical team. We will only advise chemotherapy if we feel that it is going to be of sufficient benefit to your pet, following detailed discussion of what is involved. We will tailor the plan to your pet to ensure each case is dealt with according to best practice but also on an individual case basis In a recent study, 92% of surveyed owners felt that their pets quality of life through treatment was good and had no regrets about opting for chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is a successful treatment option that is available and can extend life expectancy to an average of 9-12months. depending on the type of cancer. A small number of dogs will still be alive 2 years later. However, it is important to note that approximately 10-20% of patients will not fully respond to chemotherapy treatment.
We will do everything possible to prevent side effects, but some patients will inevitably suffer some side effects during the period of treatment. Vomiting, diarrhoea and an increased susceptibility to infection are some of the more frequently seen side effects. However, side effects are seen less commonly than in human patients receiving chemotherapy.
It is important to be aware that chemotherapy medications will be excreted in urine, faeces and vomit in the 5-7 days following administration of chemotherapy medication. You must be prepared to take reasonable precautions in the handling of urine, faeces, vomit and saliva. We will provide you with detailed instructions following each treatment.
Children and pregnant women are especially sensitive to drug excretions. Children should not have close contact during treatment. Pregnant women will need to take specific precautions and it may be better to temporarily re-home your pet during treatment periods or even not to start treatment.
Chemotherapy drugs have to be prepared and administered following strict health and safety guidelines and so the costs for treatment are greater than when using normal medications.