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Pet Cancer Treatment

Cancer Medicine (Oncology)

Oncology is the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The staff here at Gordon Vet Hospital understand that there is much fear and uncertainty around cancer in our pets. Your pet is a member of your family and it is our goal that you enjoy their company for as long as possible. Successful cancer treatment is achievable in many cases and it relies on:

1. Proper diagnosis & Staging
2. Appropriate treatment
3. Ongoing monitoring.

If you think that your dog or cat is unwell, it is most important that they are seen as soon as possible. Some of the concerning signs to look for in a dog are:

  • Change in behaviour
  • Lack of energy
  • Gradual or sudden change in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Skin lumps
  • Some more common types of dog cancers are lymphoma, osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma

Some warning signs that your cat may be unwell include:

  • Change in behaviour
  • Change in appetite
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Change in bowel or bladder habits
  • Lack of energy
  • Non-healing sores
  • A more common type includes squamous cell carcinoma

Please call us anytime to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat.

Diagnosis & Staging

The first step is an accurate diagnosis of the cancer and an assessment of if / where it may have spread. Many tumours are benign and will not have spread anywhere. Others can spread into nearby tissue (organs) or to distant tissue (metastatic disease).

If surgery is being considered as part of the treatment, the general health of the pet and an understanding of the type of tumour are important to know. There is little point doing major surgery if your pet is already suffering from another serious disease or if the cancer has spread to other areas. Some of the steps in making this diagnosis and assessment (staging) are as follows:

  • Biopsy the lump to confirm the type of tumour and its likely behaviour (will it spread and to where? how fast will it grow?)
  • Check for metastatic disease using x-rays and ultrasound
  • Identify any pre-existing disease that may affect the prognosis (even if unrelated to the cancer)
  • Consult with a specialist oncologist as needed.
Treatment of Cancer

Gordon Vet Hospital have a strong relationship with oncology specialists. They offer advice and care and devise a treatment protocol using the latest technology. This is individualised for your pet so they receive special care with the best possible outcome. Treatment of cancer usually (but not always) involves surgery. See the section on Surgery for more information.

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