Cancer in Pets – The Treatment of Neoplasia in Pets (Pt. 3)

Cancer is frequently treatable and the early diagnosis that we stressed in last week’s newsletter will aid our veterinarians in delivering the best care possible. Each type of neoplasia requires individualized care. Benign cancers and some of the most common malignant cancers only require careful, wide surgical excision to create a cure or long remission. Other malignant cancers may require a combination of therapies such as surgery followed by chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy (cancer vaccines), or cryosurgery to achieve the best outcome for your pet.

It’s important to note that pets often tolerate chemotherapy better than people. They often can take the same drugs with little to no nausea or vomiting, and rarely have hair loss that is seen in people.

Your pet’s overall health is important too, so our veterinarians may recommend dietary changes, supplements, or other therapies to help them better respond to therapy and support all body systems.

Pain management, when appropriate, is also a foremost concern with our cancer patients.

Once a diagnosis and overall evaluation is undertaken to minimize the chance that there is already hidden spread of cancer to other areas of the body, we will discuss the best, most effective, treatment options for your pet and any possible side effects. Often Dr. Wiles can surgically treat our clients’ pets and perform some types of follow up chemotherapies. In some instances we may refer you to our local oncology specialists who can provide services we can’t offer, like implanting chemotherapy beads into tumors, administer radiation therapy, provide certain chemotherapies, or give vaccines approved for certain cancers.

The response to treatment, whether a benign or malignant cancer can be cured or kept in remission, depends of many factors. These include the type of tumor as determined by the pre-op biopsy or post-op histopathology, how biologically aggressive it is, and staging of the tumor (usually how big it is and whether it has spread to other locations). While we would like to cure all cancer, with some more aggressive cancers, our goal becomes to decrease the spread and provide a good quality of comfortable, relatively normal life for as long as possible. The key to the best outcome is often the very early detection of neoplasia which is where you, our family of conscientious pet owners, can really play the biggest role..

Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.

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