Despite the successes that modern medicine has shown in relation to the treatment of cancer, the latter still inspire fear and longing in people's hearts. And not in all cases, this applies specifically to "human" cancer. People who really love their pets are very upset by the news of their illness. Fortunately, today there are quite effective drugs that really help to cope with this terrible pathology. Today, our topic is chemotherapy in dogs.
If you even know something about cancer, then you probably remember how pathological tumor cells differ from normal ones. Firstly, they have an ugly, irregular structure and cannot normally perform their function. Secondly, such cells divide at a catastrophic rate and often form metastases. Roughly speaking, these are pieces of tumors that come off and go into "free swimming" throughout the body of the animal, ensuring the emergence of new tumors.
So here. Chemotherapy for dogs is based on the action of certain medications that destroy excessively fast dividing cells and prevent their further growth and development. Such drugs are introduced in all ways, including oral and subcutaneous methods, but most often they are used in the form of intravenous injections.
How to find out if therapy brings positive results?
Monitoring the response to chemotherapy will include: regular medical examinations, as well as diagnostic tests, such as a blood test or an ultrasound scan. Based on the data obtained, the general course of treatment can be adjusted, new, more effective drugs are prescribed. It is very important to bring your dog to the clinic regularly. The more often you do this, the more objective and timely information your veterinarian will receive. In the end, the life of your pet or, in extreme cases, its duration will depend on this. By the way, how high is the effectiveness of chemotherapy for cancer in dogs? Statistical data on our clinics are practically absent, but in the USA they believe that the probability of a positive outcome, depending on the timeliness of treatment, can vary from 80 to 97%. As you can see, everything is not so bad.
Is chemotherapy really expensive?
The exact cost of chemotherapy depends on the size of the dog, duration of treatment, and specific medications. Do not be discouraged, even if your financial capabilities are limited: a good veterinarian will be able to choose a combination of relatively inexpensive funds that may turn out to be no worse than an expensive analogue.
In any case, a rough estimate of the cost of a single course of chemotherapy is best found directly in the clinic, since the cost of drugs in our turbulent times tends to increase.
How often and for how long will the dog have to give these drugs?
The duration of a course of chemotherapy varies depending on the dynamics of the disease. The frequency of drug administration can vary from once a week to a single use every month, since here everything depends on many factors. Some preparations for oral administration will have to be given to your pet daily.
Is a diet used for chemotherapy, how do drugs interact with other drugs?
It is vital that you immediately tell your veterinarian about what kind of nutritional supplements and feed your dog receives. It is important to give the name of the drug and talk about its dosage. The fact is that some drugs can form extremely toxic compounds when mixed with chemotherapeutic drugs, so it’s definitely not worth the risk. Is there any kind of diet for chemotherapy in dogs?
Again, here everything is strictly individual, and the veterinarian should discuss the diet of his dog. Discuss your pet's current feed with your doctor and do not make changes without consulting with him. If your dog has a mild gastrointestinal upset by chemotherapy, some changes can be made to the diet. As a rule, in this case it is recommended to give the dog cooked vegetables through a sieve with boiled vegetables with low-fat chicken broth. Such food gives a minimal load on the weakened gastrointestinal tract.
What should owners of dogs that are cured of cancer be aware of?
As a rule, a dog tolerates treatment “on its feet” while living at home. Be sure to consult your doctor about exactly how to care for your pet and what to do. It should be noted that the substances used in chemotherapy are very toxic, and their contact with the human body must be prevented. In addition, most of these drugs are relatively quickly excreted from the dog's body. Use gloves and detergents when cleaning any dirt, avoid contact with the dog's feces and urine. Children and pregnant women, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems, should not be in contact with the body fluids of such an animal, since the consequences can be very unpleasant. Check with your doctor for any elements of caring for your dog.
What to do if the condition of the animal has worsened?
If you think that your pet is hurt and painful, his condition has deteriorated sharply, and he needs immediate veterinary care, you must immediately deliver him to the clinic or call a specialist at home, as in many cases the transportation of the dog can be fatal. Carefully monitor your pet during treatment, notice any oddities and “malfunctions” in its behavior. At the slightest suspicion of a deterioration in the dynamics of the process, it is better to play it safe and seek help than to say goodbye to your favorite forever.
Finally, let us say once again that cancer is far from always a sentence. If you turn to the veterinarians in time and start treatment, the worst can be avoided!