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Chemotherapy for Pets

November 19 2018

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, in many cases, chemotherapy is part of the recommended treatment. Did you know that chemotherapy can also help our furry friends? In fact, chemotherapy is typically much easier on pets than it is on people. A local Upper Peninsula, MI vet discusses pet chemotherapy in this article.


When treating cancer in pets, chemotherapy is generally used to treat cancer that is spreading, inoperable tumors, and/or multiple tumors. There are different types of chemotherapy available for our animal companions. Some of the treatments come in pill form, while others may need to be given at the veterinary hospital. Of course, all of our fuzzy patients are treated on a case-by-case basis. If and when your beloved furry friend is diagnosed with cancer, your vet will be able to offer you specific information about your pet’s cancer, and go over treatment options.

Side Effects

When undergoing chemotherapy, pets often experience milder side effects than humans do. In fact, many of our furry patients seem to feel quite well while undergoing treatment! That said, some side effects are possible. Bone marrow suppression is a common one. Gastrointestinal upset is another possibility. If your pet gets nauseous, your vet may recommend putting them on a bland diet during treatment. In rare cases, pets may experience alopecia, or hair loss. (Note: most pets don’t lose their fur, although you may notice some thinning.) Ask your vet for more information.

Length Of Treatment

How long chemotherapy is recommended would depend on the type and severity of your pet’s cancer. It’s worth noting that pets sometimes go into remission quite quickly once chemotherapy starts. In some cases, it may only take a few sessions. Other pets may need to remain on chemotherapy indefinitely. It’s important for pet owners to make an informed decision, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what we’re here for!

Purrs and Tail Wags

Chemotherapy can often defeat cancer, giving pets more time for playing, cuddling, collecting ear scritches, and just being adorable. Many of our four-legged patients live happy, healthy lives after chemotherapy! However, chemotherapy isn’t a universal cure. In some cases, the objective may be to slow the spread of cancer, or reduce the size of a tumor. At the end of the day, our goal is to give your beloved pet the best quality of life possible, and extend the time they have with you. We know how important pets are to people, and will do everything we can to keep your furry best friend happy and healthy.

Do you have questions about pet chemotherapy? Contact us here at the Animal Medical Center of Marquette, your Upper Peninsula, MI vet clinic!

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