Chemotherapy refers to drugs that are used to kill cancer cells. These drugs may be given by mouth or by intravenous or intramuscular injection. Because pets are considered part of the family and they are living longer lives, cancer treatment is a rapidly evolving discipline in veterinary medicine. The goal of cancer chemotherapy in companion animals is not to cure the cancer, but rather prolong the life of the pet while providing the highest quality of life. One specific chemotherapy drug or a combination of several drugs may by used to treat different types of cancer. The side effects commonly experienced by humans, such as vomiting, nausea, and hair loss, are rare in veterinary patients.
The diagnosis of cancer in a beloved pet can be devastating and very emotional. The decision to pursue chemotherapy treatment is very personal and we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages with you and your family so you can make an informed decision.