Chemotherapy

  • How fast can chemotherapy get started?

For chemotherapy cases, treatment can begin once a definitive diagnosis is made and all relevant results have come back. Depending on the diagnostic testing used, some chemotherapy protocols can begin the same day as your initial appointment while others will take several days or even weeks to come back. For every case, we will start definitive therapy as soon as possible.

  • When can I schedule chemotherapy for my pet?

All chemotherapy appointments are scheduled between 7:30 and 8:30, Monday through Thursday. When scheduling, you may request an afternoon appointment. If we are able to accommodate this you will be contacted. Appointments that include both staging and chemotherapy cannot be moved to the afternoon.

  • How long will my pet be at the hospital for chemotherapy treatment?

A chemotherapy appointment typically takes two to three hours, however this may vary depending on the diagnostic tests recommended by your clinician. Any imaging may result in a longer appointment. On the day of your pet’s chemotherapy, we will ask you questions about how your pet is feeling, any changes in medications and if you have any concerns. One of our technicians will bring your pet in to the hospital to have their blood drawn for analysis to assess if the white blood cell count is high enough to administer chemotherapy and the clinician that is caring for your pet will do a physical examination. If there are no concerns based on the blood work and physical examination, the clinician will then order the chemotherapy drug. It takes up to 30-45 minutes for our team to prepare the chemotherapy. Chemotherapy will then be administered. Some of the drugs are administered as a slow intravenous injection through a catheter whereas some drugs can be given by mouth. We will contact you when your pet is ready for pick up.

  • Can I see the same doctor for every visit?

Because we are a teaching hospital, it is expected that our house officers and attending faculty will rotate between research time and clinic time. This means that your pet may not always be seen by the same doctor every time.  When you make your appointment, you can try to make it with the doctor that you normally see. If they are not available, another member of our team will be happy to help. We regularly share our patients between clinicians and discuss our cases as a team – this allows you and your pet to benefit from a team approach!