Your doctor has likely spoken to you about the importance of regular checkups and early diagnosis of illnesses, including cancer. The same concept holds true for your beloved pets. Veterinarians stress the importance of routine wellness exams for early diagnosis of issues, particularly as your cats and dog’s age.
When your pets are younger, they may need to see the vet yearly or every two years for an exam and any necessary vaccine boosters. As they enter the senior years for their breed, your vet is likely to recommend more frequent visits and additional health screenings to assist with early diagnosis and treatment of age-related health problems, including cancer. Because our four-legged babies can’t tell us when something is wrong, the routine exams become even more important for early detection.
A diagnosis of cancer in your family pet can be devastating, but most cancers are treatable. Treating cancer in cats and dogs is similar to treating the disease in humans. The specific medications and other treatment methods used will depend on the type of cancer and the affected area. Other factors your vet will consider when treating your pet’s cancer is whether or not it has spread (metastasized) to other areas of the body, what is best for your pet given any other health concerns, and what is available and affordable for you.
As with humans, three methods are primarily used to treat cancer in dogs and cats: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Each of these methods has risks, side-effects, and benefits that must be taken into consideration in conjunction with your pet’s overall well-being. In addition to any medication needed during the course of treatment, other medications may be required to manage side-effects such as pain, nausea, or sleep changes.
The specific medications required will be determined by your veterinarian; however, you’ll likely need to provide doses at home. Often these medications need to be custom compounded because they don’t exist in the dosages needed, especially for cats and small dogs. Also, pets who aren’t feeling well can sometimes be more difficult to medicate. Having a compounded medication that tastes great or is easy to measure makes this process much easier. At TCC, in Leesburg, Virginia, we’re happy to work with you and your vet to create the compounded medications your pet needs to fight their cancer battle.
For more information regarding your pet, visit our pet’s health section of this blog.
If you have any questions about your pet’s medication, please contact our pharmacists at 703-779-3301