Oncology

Caring for Pets with Cancer

A Few Cancer Facts

  • Dr. Ramsey RadiologyCancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and cats in the United States
  • 1 in 4 dogs are diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.
  • Half of dogs over 10 years of age die of cancer
  • Cancer is often treatable or curable
  • Many of the same treatments that are available for human cancer patients are now available for pets. These treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery

Warning Signs of Cancer in Pets

  • Abnormal lumps or bumps that persist or continue to grow
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Exercise Intolerance
  • Persistent lameness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

How we can help once a diagnosis of cancer is made in your pet

  • Our goal is to achieve continued quality of life for your pet, not just quantity.
  • Provide options on how to care for your pet
  • Surgery to remove tumors when possible
  • Chemotherapy
  • Provide a referral to a veterinary oncologist for treatment and/or radiation therapy

Facts about chemotherapy in animals

  • Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer using specific chemical agents or drugs that are selectively destructive to malignant cells and tissues
  • Only 25% of animals treated with chemotherapy have side effects with <5% experiencing severe or life-threatening complications
  • Most patients enjoy a good quality of life while on chemotherapy
  • General side effects of chemotherapy include bone marrow suppression, gastrointestinal problems (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), and hair loss in certain breeds (Poodles and Bichons)