Here at Crown Vets we are able to offer administration of chemotherapy to our patients. Chemotherapy is an effective treatment for certain types of cancer, but must be used with care and according to special protocols.
Dr Melanie Veal, who has an interest in cancer management, is able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the options for each patient. The types of cancer are individual to each patient and have their own special treatment protocols.
The aim of our chemotherapy service is to ensure each pet maintains the best quality of life during treatment. In many cases medical treatment can have a very positive outcome on our patient’s happiness.
We have listed some general considerations for you.
Chemotherapy has been recommended to me as an option but I’m worried about side-effects?
Chemotherapy in our animal patients is not used as a cure, but rather as a way to make them feel happy and well for as long as possible. It is important that we have as few side effects as possible to allow this. However, some patients may still suffer side effects. The most frequent of these are vomiting, diarrhoea, and being more likely to pick up infections.
If your pet becomes ill after administration of chemotherapy, contact your Veterinary Surgeon who can then treat these side effects and perhaps adapt the protocol.
How do I make sure everyone is safe at home while my pet is receiving chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy medications are removed from the body over the first 48hrs in bodily fluids (urine, vomit, blood, faeces). There are steps that you should take to reduce exposure of yourself, family and other pets.
Young, pregnant, and old people, and anyone who might be immunocompromised are particularly susceptible to the effects and therefore should not be involved in the care-giving of any patient on chemotherapy.
Disposable gloves should be worn to clear up any vomit or faeces and where the patient urinates should be rinsed down with water. Any soiled sheets/towels/beds etc should be washed straight away in a separate load or placed in a plastic bag until they can be washed. If your pet licks you then you should wash as soon as possible. Throwaway items should be placed into two plastic bags before putting into the bin.
What considerations are there with costs of chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy drugs are usually expensive and have to be prepared and administered with special safety procedures and systems. The whole process takes up a large amount of time. Additional costs can include blood tests and adjunctive therapies whilst the patient is undergoing treatment. Accurate estimates will depend on the size of the patient and what protocols they require.
For further information on cancer or chemotherapy in animals, please contact us.