This field of veterinary medicine deals with a neoplastic disease, colloquially called „cancer”. Cancer can affect all of our small fury babies. Most commonly it affects the older animals however young animals can also be affected by it, too. The characteristic thing about the neoplastic disease is its unpredictability and that it is considered a „chronic disease”.
There are various well known carcinogenic factors, such as: UV radiation, viral, hormonal, genetic factors, parasites, age-related factors, etc.
Amongst the most common cancer types seen in pet animals are:
- mast cell tumour
- soft tissue sarcoma
- skin and oral melanoma
- nasal tumours
- tumours affecting the anal sacs
Each animal suspected to have cancer is thoroughly examined, i.e.:
- blood work: haematology, biochemistry
- cytological and histological assessment of the tumour
- diagnostic imaging: X-rays, ultrasound, computed tomography [please ask]
We offer the following treatment methods in our Clinic:
This comprises of the delivery of anti-neoplastic medications. These medications can be in a form of injections (into the vein, in the scruff of the skin) or oral tablets and capsules. The type, as well as the form, of the medication are discussed thoroughly with you and the best suited treatment is recommended by the veterinarian. The anti-cancer drugs kill the cancer cells as majority of these multiply rapidly however these drugs can also kill the quickly multiplying but healthy cells of our pets’ body therefore occasionally your pet may experience some side effects from their use, such as: vomiting, diarrhoea, inappetence, lethargy, fever, reduced number of circulating white blood cells, reduced number of circulating platelets;
This field of oncology deals with the growth/ tumour itself by surgically removing or debulking it (reducing its size). The surgical procedures are performed by our specialist soft tissue surgeon (please see section Surgery).
This comprises of prescription of the drugs that inhibit certain pathways within the cell but they do not kill the cells which stands in contrast to the chemotherapy (=anti-cancer drugs). There are two veterinary targeted drugs widely available for our pets (and cats, too), namely: Palladia and Masivet. They are both availalable in our clinic. As with all drugs, there are some potential side effects your pet may experience during their therapy, such as: diarrhoea, occasionally vomiting, increased liver and kidney parameters, protein in the urine. A blood test, as well as a urine test, are done prior to and during the treatment with these drugs, to monitor the patient;
It uses anti-cancer vaccines which main role is the stimulation of the immune system to its enhanced response and killing of the cancer cells. So far we have cancer vaccines available to use in the management of oral malignant melanoma in dogs (Oncept Melanoma Vaccine). There is also Oncept IL-2 vaccine available for the adjuvant management of feline injection site sarcomas;
It uses ionizing radiation delivered by means of photons (the same particels that are used in X-rays; this type of radiation is most often used for deep seated tumours, such as brain, nasal tumour, etc) or electrons (used mainly to treat superficial tumours, surgical scars following removal of the tumour , etc). Radiotherapy is a very useful therapeutic tool in the management of some inoperable or difficult to reach surgically tumours, such as: brain, pituitary gland, nasal, some inoperable skin/ subcutaneous tumour, metastatic abdominal lymph nodes, etc. Radiotherapy is also an excellent analgesic commonly used in the management of dogs affected by a bone tumour, called: osteosarcoma.
Cancer diagnosis in our animal patients is oftentimes perceived by their owners with anxiety and fear. In our Clinic we try to minimize this stress by a thorough, detailed and calm explanation of the test results, possible and advisable treatment options and long-term prognosis for your pet. Each patient is discharged home with a discharge letter containing all the necessary information, description of all the tests performed, as well as the date of the future appointments.