Companions on your journey.

Q. “What are possible side effects?”

A. Unlike humans, many pets do not experience as many of the same negative side effects from chemotherapy, such as hair loss and severe nausea. In fact, pets often remain happy and upbeat throughout the course of their chemotherapy treatment. However, one side effect of chemotherapy can be suppression of bone marrow cell (white blood cell) production. White blood cell suppression may increase the risk for infection and cause lethargy.

In addition, intestinal upset may be a side effect and include weight loss, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

If your pet does experience side effects at any time during the treatment, please let your veterinary oncologist know so that he or she can modify the treatment to minimize the chance of recurring side effects. Often, anti-nausea medications will be used to alleviate the side effects.

Emotionally and mentally, pets are not aware that they have cancer and continue to benefit from positive interactions with family and friends while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. So keep playing with your pet, gently, and showing love.