Are you Considering Chemotherapy for your Pet? Here’s what you need to Know

By May 31 | See Comments

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Knowing about the fact that your pet is suffering from cancer is probably the scariest thing any pet owner. After you took your pet to the clinic for a regular health check-up, the vet would have discovered certain abnormalities in the various scans. Upon closer examination, the vet would have found out that your pet has some form of cancer. After diagnosing the disease, the vet will give you a list of options to treat your pet. Chemotherapy is one type of treatment that will be suggested by your vet. Having a complete understanding of what chemotherapy is and how it works will help you in making the correct treatment choice for your pet.

What is chemotherapy and why is it needed?

Chemotherapy is referred to drugs that are capable of destroying cancer cells in living beings. The type of combination or medication required depends on what kind of cancer your pet has. The overall health of your pet will be taken into consideration. It is often prescribed for lymphoma and other malignancies that have a likelihood to metastasize.The goal of chemotherapy for pets is different from that of humans. It is less aggressive and the quality of life is one of the most important considerations. The main aim of chemotherapy is to ensure that your pet has the best life for as long as it is manageable.

What will happen during the treatment and how long is it?

The type of chemotherapy administration depends on the combination of medication given. The majority of the treatments are administered through injections, lasting anywhere between a couple of seconds to minutes. There are also oral treatments which can be given within the comfort of your home or the vet’s office.The frequency of chemotherapy treatments is dependent on the overall health of your pet, the medication used, and the type of cancer. Treatments are given at an interval of every one to three weeks. The treatment can last between a few months to a couple of years.

Are there any side effects of chemotherapy?

Unlike humans, the side effects are less severe and last for a shorter duration as the treatment isn’t aggressive. Most of the pets undergoing chemotherapy face no side effects. If they do, they usually have diarrhea, loss of appetite and vomiting.A very small percentage of pets will suffer from severe side effects which will need the attention of pets. As chemotherapy doesn’t differentiate between good and bad cells, it will have a negative impact on white blood cells as their numbers will go down. This will increase the chance of catching an infection.However, pets will not go bald due to chemotherapy although they may lose their whiskers. There also may be slight hair loss and change in color of the fur.If you have more queries about chemotherapy in pets, leave a comment below.

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