Cancer Treatment Options: Chemotherapy & Surgery
Chemotherapy is similar to its human medicine counterpart. We inject a strong drug that targets and kills rapidly dividing cancer cells, but also occasionally healthy cells.
Chemotherapy can be difficult to consider for our pets, especially if we’ve seen its effects on our family, friends, or even experienced it ourselves. However, cats and dogs often fare much better than we do. While they can also experience hair loss, vomiting and stomach upset, a lowering of their immune system, and even anemia, it is often far less severe.
Often, chemotherapy and surgery can be used together to treat cancer. Surgery helps us remove as many cancerous cells as possible, while chemotherapy can either be used first to reduce the size of a tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. We will discuss your pet’s treatment options based on their condition and cancer type.
Palliative Care During Cancer Treatments
An important aspect of pet cancer treatment is the palliative care that helps them maintain their quality of life. This includes pain medications and/or homeopathy. We also work closely with a veterinary acupuncturist who can treat your pet in our clinic or at their own clinic.
Pain medications are meant to relieve any pain caused by the cancer or its treatments. NSAIDs and opioids are the most common options. They help relieve your pet’s discomfort so they can go on enjoying life to the fullest.
Homeopathy provides expanded options for our treatments to patients. CBD or Cannabidiol oil is a very common homeopathic remedy that helps treat pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a range of other benefits including appetite stimulation, anti-nausea effects, and anti-anxiety effects.
Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles into acupuncture points (which are typically around blood vessels). These needles block pain receptors and are believed to re-balance the body’s natural energy lines (meridians). Acupuncture not only helps to relieve pain, but is also very relaxing and can improve your pet’s mental well-being.