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Chemotherapy for Pets

Chemotherapy refers to giving a medication to treat cancer and other immune diseases.

Will chemotherapy make my pet sick? What are common side effects?

The side effects from chemotherapy drugs vary depending on the type of medication and dose being used. Some of the more common side effects may be nausea, a decrease in appetite, vomiting or an increased susceptibility to infection. Side effects tend to be less in pets than in people. Some pets do not have any side effects while taking chemotherapy drugs.

How is chemotherapy given to my pet?

Chemotherapy medications are often given intravenously (injection into a vein). Some chemotherapy drugs are available in an oral form. When handling injectable chemotherapy drugs, it is important to ensure the medication does not get on the skin as it can be an irritant. Veterinary staff need to be very careful handling chemotherapy drugs due to potential toxic effects and so only trained veterinary professionals perform chemotherapy treatment on pets.

What is the cost of chemotherapy?

Cancer treatment varies depending on the type of cancer being treated and the type of treatment being given. The approach taken is individual to each patient and depends on which chemotherapy medication drug is being used, the dose needed and the frequency it is given.

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