Cancer is a frightening and emotional diagnosis in both humans and our pets. Cancer can be benign or malignant. We help you make informed decisions about your pet and the different possibilities of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, palliative care and end of life options. One of our goals in cancer treatment is to prevent and relieve suffering. We may not be able to cure every cancer but we can slow the growth and prevent metastasis in many cases. The doctors and nursing staff are experienced in diagnosis and referral for many forms of cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment are more technical and sophisticated than we have available at Gallatin Veterinary Hospital. We would send your pet to a large referral hospital for chemotherapy or radiation treatment. We are fortunate to have local referral options as well as referral to several out-of-state Veterinary Teaching Hospitals. BVS (Bridger Veterinary Specialists) in Bozeman, Montana, CSU(Colorado State University) in Fort Collins, Colorado and WSU (Washington State University Veterinary School) in Pullman, Washington. GVH veterinarians consult withVeterinary Oncologists to design an individual treatment plan for each type of cancer and each pet.
Animals handle chemotherapy much better than humans and they don’t routinely get sick. The goal of chemotherapy in animals is to maintain a good quality of life while treating the cancer. Side effects are possible but are limited and controlled as much as possible. Oncologists and veterinarians utilize many different medications to control pain, quiet nausea and to stimulate the pet’s appetite if required case by case. Chemotherapies can be oral or injectable and may require a pet to visit the hospital for half a day for treatment. They utilize the same chemotherapy agents used in humans. Monitoring the body’s response to treatment is very important. We require follow up blood work to assess the liver, kidney, bone marrow and blood cells response to the chemotherapy. This is done to ensure the pet has the best quality of life while treating the cancer. We make every decision as easy as we can for you and your pet. There is a large emotional and financial commitment involved with cancer treatment. Please ask any of the veterinarians or staff member’s questions about cancer, cancer screening and treatment options.