Chemotherapy for dogs is often used to treat lymphosarcoma and mastocytoma. Lymphosarcoma is a type of neoplasm that affects lymphocytes and can damage the liver and spleen.
On the other hand, mastocytoma is a type of skin cancer that affects mast cells – connective tissues – and can spread to other organs. In addition, treatment should be performed as soon as possible.
In both cases, the effect of the chemical treatment is remarkable with a success rate of 80%. However, chemotherapy can also be used to treat other cancers that are common in dogs. Here are some examples:
- Skin cancer
- Breast cancer
- Testicular Cancer
- Bone cancer
Cancerous tumors (especially the head and neck)
Do all dogs diagnosed with cancer need chemotherapy?
The answer is no, because chemotherapy is effective for dogs one of the cancer treatments , but the person who decides whether it is necessary should be a veterinarian. Using all of them will depend on the development of cancer in the body and the health of the dog. In general, the veterinarian will recommend chemotherapy in the following cases:
- When the tumor affects several organs or spreads to the body . This occurs when cancer cells spread to the body or affect several organs (eg, lymphoma) and it becomes impossible to remove the tumor by surgery.
In these cases , chemotherapy is often the best option to prevent progression and prolong the animal’s survival. However, chemotherapy is generally not recommended if the cancer is advanced, if there is metastasis, or if the dog is very weak.
- If they cannot completely remove the tumor during surgery: In some cases, extraction surgery is feasible and effective, but the veterinarian cannot eliminate the entire tumor.
In this case, the veterinarian may use chemotherapy after surgery to destroy cancer cells.
- When the tumor is too large to be removed by surgery : If the veterinarian finds that the tumor is too large to be surgically removed, chemotherapy may be used to reduce its size.
Depending on the response to treatment, the veterinarian analyzes the feasibility of post-chemotherapy surgery to remove the tumor.
- After removing a tumor: Even when surgery is successful and they remove the tumor, the veterinarian may prescribe chemotherapy. This will eliminate any remaining cancer cells and help prevent the formation of new tumors.
How does chemotherapy work for dogs?
Cancer cells have abnormal growth, ie they proliferate faster than normal cells. Chemotherapy is intended to slow growth and destroy any cancer cells. Special drugs are used to detect and destroy accelerated activity of malignant cells.
Chemotherapy is more effective for young or small tumors that show intensive cell division rate.
In advanced cancer, cancer cells slow down their reproduction and put them into a waiting process. In this case, chemotherapy drugs cannot distinguish malignant cells from normal ones.
Does chemotherapy have any side effects for dogs?
As with almost all drug treatments, chemotherapy has some side effects. However, it is estimated that only 5% of patients experience negative outcomes after treatment.
The main side effects of chemotherapy for dogs are:
- Food and digestive problems: Anorexia , diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Fortunately, there are many medications and some natural supplements to prevent and reduce these problems.
- Weakened immune system: The immune system of some dogs may weaken due to the effect of chemotherapy. This makes them more vulnerable to many diseases, from colds to more complex infections.
- Hair loss : It is rare for dogs to lose their hair during chemotherapy. However, some dogs may experience hair loss. Sometimes feathers can grow in these areas with different colors and texture.
Fortunately, has made significant advances in scientific advances and veterinary medicine in dog chemotherapy. Thus, the prognosis of cancer diagnosis is much more positive than in the past.
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