Cancer Treatment for Your Best Friend

January 12th, 2014

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Cancer is one of the leading causes of illness in the pet population. Recent reports indicate that one in four dogs and one in three cats will develop cancer. With the rise in pets diagnosed with cancer, the need for veterinarians who specialize in treating these pets has increased.

A board-certified veterinary oncologist is a veterinarian who has completed additional training and passed stringent exams. These veterinarians specialize in the use of chemotherapy, radiation and biologics for the treatment of cancer. Cancer in pets may be treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or immunologic therapies.

The goal of cancer treatment in our pet population is focused on not only controlling the disease but improving the pet’s quality of life. This may entail slowing down the growth of the cancer, decreasing pain related to the cancer, and improving the overall well-being of the pet. Pets undergoing radiation and chemotherapy do not experience the severity of side effects often seen in their human counterpart undergoing the same treatments. The majority of pet-owners agree that their dog or cat improved with treatment.

Some veterinary centers will also participate in clinical trials, testing novel therapies that have shown promise for pets with cancer. When these novel therapies show positive results in our pets, they go on to clinical trials for adults and children with cancer. In this way, these trials help not only our pets with cancer, but their human best friends.

Provided by:
Dr. Craig Clifford, Dr. Siobhan Haney and Dr. Kate Vickery

Cancer Care group at Hope Veterinary Specialists in Malvern, PA
Our group strives to provide the highest quality patient care through a multidisciplinary approach using surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.