Unfortunately, cancer is quite common among our furry family members. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, almost 50% of dogs over 10-years-old will develop cancer at some point in their life. When it comes to cats, 1 in 5 will be diagnosed with cancer at one point. Despite these grim numbers, the good news is that there are now several treatment options for pets with cancer, and our hospital team here at AMC can provide them in-house. To learn about our chemotherapy and other services for cancer, please reach out to us at 902.564.8356 (Sydney location) or 902.849.3725 (Reserve Mines location).
What is chemotherapy for pets?
The idea of chemotherapy for pets is quite similar to that in humans. Chemotherapy is a cocktail of medications given to your pet that have the ability to kill the cells that cause cancer. It will stop the spread of cancer that has already gone to other parts of your pet’s body. It may also be recommended for cancers that, although have not yet spread to other areas, have a high likelihood of doing so.
What can I expect with my pet’s chemotherapy?
Most chemotherapy for pets is given intravenously at the hospital and can take a few hours to be fully administered. Some chemotherapy can also be given orally either at home or in our office.
Will chemotherapy make my pet sick?
Chemotherapy in the veterinary setting is less aggressive than in humans. Therefore, side effects in dogs and cats are not as obvious compared with people.
What are the most common type of side effects of chemotherapy on pets?
In the off chance that side effects do occur, they often come in the form of decreased appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. Unlike with humans, hair loss is often NOT a side effect of chemotherapy in pets. Rest assured that 75 to 80% of dogs, for example, do not experience any side effects at all when they go through chemo.
How long does chemotherapy last for pets?
The number of rounds of chemo your pet needs, along with the total duration of treatment really depends on the severity of their diagnosis, their own specific health condition and the type of medication that you choose.