Cancer! What do I do?
Cancer is a frightening diagnosis for any pet owner to receive. It carries with it many thoughts and experiences similar to human medicine. In veterinary medicine it can be a very complex diagnosis to work through and formulate the best treatment plan for your pet.
The first step is to arrive at the correct diagnosis, which may require multiple tests.(including needle aspirates, radiographs, ultrasound, blood tests, and surgery) Some canine/feline cancers may be cured with surgery while others are best treated with chemotherapy or a mixture of both. The goal is to create a remission that will extend and maintain the quality of life of your pet.
What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is the term given to a specific set of drugs commonly used to treat cancer. It is a combination of chemicals that have the ability to kill cancer cells. Unlike human chemotherapy treatments, animal chemo treatments are most commonly administered by injection, or chewable.
Are the side effects similar to that in Humans?
Chemotherapy in veterinary medicine is different than that for humans. Many of us have had a friend or family member go through chemotherapy and battle side effects. With pets they often do not have the same reactions. Some side effects may include slowed hair growth, nausea, or a decrease in white blood cell count. We also can offer complimentary treatments such as acupuncture or herbalism to help with some of the side effects as well as supplements and diet recommendations to support your pet’s well being.