Cancer. It is the last word a pet owner ever wants to hear. When discussing options for treatments of certain types of cancers, we often discuss chemotherapy. Chemotherapy itself is simply a term for the medications used to slow or stop the progression cancer cells. These medications may come in injectable or oral (pill) formulations. Unfortunately, the perception is these treatments may cause signs typically associated with people receiving chemotherapy, including vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, and lethargy. Thankfully this is not true in except in rare cases for our pets, as the doses typically used in pets are not as high as with humans as we would never want to add to a pet’s suffering. Thankfully if side effects occur, they are usually mild and may be managed with oral anti-nausea medications and the like.
With these treatments we are rarely going for a cure, but more to help lessen the tumor burden and help the animal feel well for as long as possible. Treatment protocols can be from weekly to monthly, and a protocol would be decided between you and your veterinarian. Thankfully these medications may be able to add months to years to a pet’s life even after the diagnosis of cancer.