Symptoms of Cancer in Pets
Cancer may be suspected in your pet if signs of illness are present, yet routine diagnostic tests such as blood and urine analysis, and radiographic imaging (x-rays) have not yielded a diagnosis; or when your pet is not responding to treatment as she should be.
Diagnosing & Staging Cancer in Pets
Confirmation of cancer and cancer staging are the first steps in managing your pet’s condition. A biopsy may be indicated to establish or confirm the diagnosis. Elk Grove Veterinary Specialty & Emergency offers biopsy procedures including ultrasound-guided biopsy, endoscopy, rhinoscopy, and bone marrow biopsy. Specialized laboratory tests may be recommended for certain types of cancers.
Staging, or the determination of extent (size/invasiveness), cellular behavior (rapidly or slowly dividing cells), and presence of metastasis (areas of distant spread of cancer) are important in determining the prognosis with various treatment options for your pet. A CT scan may be used for the evaluation of the extent of the tumor, whereas cellular behavior is most easily determined via biopsy. Determination of metastasis is most typically done via obtaining chest radiographs, abdominal ultrasound, and biopsy of adjacent lymph nodes or ultrasound-biopsy of abdominal organs.
Treating Cancer in Pets
Options for treatment of cancer in your pet may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. Our board-certified oncologist will discuss known treatment strategies for your pet’s cancer and expected outcome, along with what to expect during and after treatment. Elk Grove Veterinary Specialty & Emergency offers chemotherapy treatment and immunotherapy at this time. For pets requiring radiation therapy, we can coordinate referral to a radiation therapy specialist nearest to your area.
Cancer is not always a terminal diagnosis in pets, just as in people. We will do our due diligence to determine how to best help your pet live a quality life, and also to help guide your family’s decisions on end of life care.
If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, or you are concerned by potential symptoms, please contact us right away. We are happy to schedule a consultation with you and your pet.