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Chemotherapy for Dogs

Chemotherapy is the therapeutic use of chemical agents to destroy or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Chemo specifically targets and attacks cells that undergo rapid replication. Cancer is a disease characterized by the rapid, continuous and uncontrolled replication of cells. Chemotherapy is used when tumours are widespread or when there is a risk of spreading from the primary tumour. Sometimes, it will be used following the surgical removal of tumours to control any cancerous cells left behind.

What is chemotherapy for dogs?


The common side effects of chemotherapy treatment may include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and a decreased white blood cell count, which can predispose your dog to infection.

What are some common side effects of chemotherapy for dogs?


Dogs tolerate chemotherapy well. About 80 – 85% of dogs undergoing chemo will show no adverse reactions. Several areas of the body have cells that generally divide rapidly and continuously in a controlled manner. Because chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cells and are unable to distinguish between normal and abnormal cells, it can affect normal cells as well as cancer cells.

How is chemotherapy administered in dogs?


Most chemotherapy agents are administered in hospitals through an intravenous catheter. Occasionally, some of the chemotherapy treatments come in a tablet form and can be given at home.

What is the cost of canine chemotherapy?


The cost of chemotherapy can vary depending on the protocol used. It is also dependent on the size of your dog. Estimates can be given before deciding.

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