Chemotherapy for dogs is used to treat cancer. Many pet owners are afraid of the potential side effects of chemotherapy, and so they are hesitant in agreeing that this treatment method is the best recourse for treating their pet’s cancer. However, there are medications that can counteract the side effects of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy for Dogs: How Does the Procedure Work?
- Chemotherapy works by catching and killing stray cancer cells that remain in the dog’s bloodstream after initial extraction of the tumor from the animal’s body.
- Tumor extraction is usually done through surgery or amputation.
- Multiple doses of drugs specifically designed to target and kill cancer cells are administered either intravenously or orally several weeks apart.
- Chemotherapy is administered in “cycles” so as to eliminate the cancerous cells that may also have their own growth cycles.
Chemotherapy for Dogs Side Effects
- Nausea and vomiting
- A sudden rise in the dog’s blood sugar levels. .
- Alterations in liver enzyme production
- Thinning of the blood
- Spontaneous abortion (in pregnant dogs)
- Irritation at the injection site (if chemotherapy drugs were administered intravenously)
- Pancreatitis (can be caused by chemotherapy drug overdose)
- Problems in bone marrow formation
- Total loss of appetite
- Noticeable thinning of the hair in hairy breeds.
Cost of Chemotherapy for Dogs Treatment
- Pet owners should factor in the cost of the initial visit to the veterinarian in calculating the overall expense of canine chemotherapy.
- Pet owners should factor in the fee for initial consultation, diagnostic tests, discussion of prognosis and the treatment plan drawn up by the veterinarian in calculating chemotherapy treatment costs.
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