Just like people, sadly our pets are at a risk from developing cancer, which occurs when a group of cells replicate at an abnormally fast rate and become abnormal, forming what we call tumours. We do not know what causes this to happen in many cases but our understanding of the biology of cancer in animals is improving all the time.
Early and accurate diagnosis is vital in the management of cancer and we have leading clinical specialists and state-of-the-art equipment on-site, including MRI and CT scanning facilities and an in-house reference laboratory staffed by pathology specialists who work very closely with our oncology, diagnostic imaging and surgical specialists to ensure that we always work as a multi-disciplinary team to establish an accurate and specific diagnosis as quickly as we can. We offer a full range of surgical and medical treatments for cancer, including the use of chemotherapy when appropriate and we will also willingly refer a patient on to colleagues in one of our sister hospitals with radiotherapy facilities when required.
When your pet is diagnosed with cancer or is undergoing any diagnostic investigations or treatment, we completely understand the anxiety you feel and we will do all we can to support you, as well as your pet, through the whole process. One reassuring feature that is unlike what you may know from friends or family having chemotherapy, is that all veterinary chemotherapy is designed in a way such we aim to make it side-effect free if at all possible, so the experience a dog or cat has whilst receiving chemotherapy is very different to that which some people experience, and we will always aim to make your pet’s quality of life better through the treatment and not for it to be reduced by the treatment.
However, as in human medicine, it is impossible to absolutely guarantee that even the best surgery or chemotherapy will always work in every patient, and there are a number of conditions that we do not consider treating in veterinary medicine. However, when used appropriately, regular chemotherapy is there to control and manage the disease to the very best of our ability and can improve the length and quality of your pet’s life by many months and sometimes years. We have pets who have been coming to us for anything up to 15 years having benefitted from this treatment!