Pet cancer treatment options are available and can help pets live a better and longer life or even offer a possible cure. Sierra drives more than two hours each week to take Weda for treatment. A mast cell tumor is the second-most common type of cancer seen at South Texas Veterinary Specialists, which offers the only oncologist in the San Antonio area.
“We give them doses and treatment that they tolerate really well. The goal is to make the pet feel better when they’re on chemotherapy, rather than make them feel ill because of side effects,” Dr. Jennifer Wiley said.
If an animal does have some sort of side effect, the oncologist will alter dosage and the treatment plan to keep the animal feeling well.
Because every cancer is different for each animal, it’s best to check with a vet and a specialist on the best treatment option.
“Some cancers, we can cure by maybe removing it with surgery. Some are highly responsive to a treatment like chemo. We’re making them very happy and comfortable but maybe not a cure,” Wiley said.
Wiley said it’s the most important thing she considers when it comes to treatment. According to Wiley, some animals will have a predisposition to cancer in general. Research hasn’t found anything in the environment that causes pet cancer and suggests it’s mostly genetic. Cancer in cats is more common in pure breeds, but doctors typically treat domestic shorthaired cats.
According to Wiley, lymphoma is the most common type of cancer in cats and dogs. Animals can also develop breast cancer and prostate cancer. As for the cost, it varies with the type of cancer and how extensive it is. A veterinarian referral is needed for treatment at South Texas Veterinary Specialists.