Most animal owners consider their pets to be not only faithful companions but also members of their family. Some of these owners have a healthy fear of losing their pet to cancer, and that fear is very real. 50% of all geriatric cats and dogs will suffer and pass from cancer this year alone. Although it is the leading cause of death in geriatric pets, it is also one of the most treatable diseases using chemotherapy.
What is cancer? Cancer is by medical definition the overgrowth of cells that take over healthy tissues and organs and cause damage. There are three forms of treatment for cancer: surgery, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy. Surgery will remove localized tumors while radiation treatment is best for small tumors. Chemotherapy is treatment that battles cancer systemically, meaning it is flushed throughout the body in order to kill the damaging cancer cells.
How will my pet respond to chemotherapy? This is a common question among pet owners facing this difficult decision to proceed with treatments. Chemotherapy in humans is characterized by the nausea, vomiting and general sickness that books, movies and testimonials have given us over the years. Chemotherapy in animals is done in a way that gives the animal the best quality of life. Doses and schedules are regulated to keep the pet feeling as normal as possible. Many pet owners are surprised at how well their loved animal companion does during and after a chemotherapy treatment.