Unfortunately cancer is common in pets and can present in many ways. Some cancers develop throughout the body and require chemotherapy. Fortunately, many cancers can be treated with surgery saving your pets life. Radiation therapy is an excellent way to treat cancer too, but at this time has limited availability in Australia.
Many patients that develop cancer seem OK on the outside. The cancer is often slow-growing and minimally painful. The exception to this is bone cancer which grows fast and causes severe lameness.
The earlier a diagnosis is made the earlier we can start treatment and the better the chances of disease control are.
There are often different treatment options that are available for any particular case. The skill as a vet is to be aware of what can be done and choose the best treatment option in each case.
Many clients are initially hesitant to have their pet undergo extensive surgery when they are not sure if the pet will live past one year. This is a personal choice and we can help you decide by giving you science and support during this difficult time. Often people return and praise us by saying that they were happy to have made the decision to proceed with treatment.
Cancer pain can be effectively managed in most cats and dogs using modern oral medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and opioids.