We all know how disheartening it is to find out somebody close to you has cancer, especially when it's your beloved dog or cat. Although chemotherapy is not a cure for cancer in pets, it can most certainly help extend their lifespan and improve their quality of life. To learn more, please contact us at 204-728-0033.
When is chemotherapy used?
Chemotherapy is usually used when tumours are widespread or when the tumour has a high risk of spreading from the primary location – often used following the surgical removal of tumours. Chemotherapy helps to control the cells that might not have been removed, which provides long-term management of cancer. Although chemotherapy is the primary treatment for some cancers, very few use it on its own. In other cases, chemotherapy may be started before surgery to make it more manageable for removal of the tumour after shrinking.
How does chemotherapy work in pets?
This method of treatment works by stopping the growth of cancer cells or by killing the cells. Since chemotherapy comes in many different forms and types, there are several ways to administer it:
- Traditional protocols involve administering the highest tolerated dose followed by a break for a few weeks before the next dose – this gives your pet time to recover.
- Metronomic protocols refers to the chronic, equal-spacing of low-dose chemotherapy drug administration (either given daily or every other day).
Is it worth putting my pet through chemotherapy?
Making a decision like this isn't easy – that's why we're here to help! Deciding whether to put your pet through chemotherapy should be based on many factors, such as their overall health, age, type & stage of cancer, and potential benefits/side effects of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can be an effective treatment option and can help increase their quality of life. However, it is important to recognize that chemotherapy will not cure cancer and there may be potential risks and side effects associated with the treatment. Prior to making a decision, speak with your veterinarian first as they will be able to give you all the information you need to make a decision.