As a comprehensive veterinary specialty hospital, we offer hope and help to cancer patients. The good news is that there are many options for treating pets with cancer today, and animals typically experience far fewer side effects than humans undergoing similar treatment. Most importantly, at Lakeshore, we are here to provide you with all of the information you need to make the best decisions for your pet.
We will guide you through each step of the process, from diagnostic testing, to selecting an appropriate course of treatment, even incorporating palliative care when necessary, to ensure each pet’s quality of life is supported with as much comfort and love as possible. Rest assured that your pet will receive expert care from an experienced and compassionate team led by two board-certified veterinary oncologists.
Many cancer patients are treated with a combination of therapies. They may include one or more of the following:
- Hospice care
- Nutritional support
- Pain management
- Radiation therapy (available by referral)
Our team of highly skilled practitioners, led by Drs. Rachel Reiman and Rachel Sternberg will work with you to carefully assess your pet and implement a personalized treatment plan based on experience and proven methodologies.
Our comprehensive, onsite laboratory allows for rapid analysis to carefully monitor cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Each of our hospitals has a fully stocked pharmacy as well, providing you the convenience to fill any prescription at your pet's appointment. If there is anything we can do to assist you through this process, please do not hesitate to ask.
What can I expect at my pet's initial oncology consultation?
Your consultation appointment with an oncologist comprises several components:
- The oncologist will review your pet’s medical history records as provided by your pet’s other health care providers.
- The oncologist will discuss and review your pet’s current health status as reported by you.
- The oncologist will perform a thorough physical examination.
- The oncologist will then discuss treatment options, next steps (such as additional tests that might be recommended), and a long term care plan. This discussion will focus on the health of your pet, addressing concerns and answering questions you may have. Should treatment of any kind be indicated, we will discuss your options including expected outcomes (prognosis), recovery, and costs.
- Decisions on treatment are made jointly with you, so it is important for the person(s) responsible for the patient are present to ask questions and provide information about the pet’s behavior, routines, and history.
What can I expect at my pet's chemotherapy appointment?
At your first chemotherapy appointment you will be welcomed by our front desk staff. A Veterinary Technician from the Oncology team will bring you and your pet to a private examination room. They will obtain your pet’s vital signs and ask questions about their medical history, current medications, and clinical signs. After the history is obtained, we will take your pet into the back treatment area, where bloodwork will be performed to ensure your pet is healthy enough to receive chemotherapy. If we determine your pet to be healthy, we will proceed with chemotherapy. When the treatment is complete, our team will bring your pet back to you with an update on how they are doing. You will then be checked out by the front desk staff and will be asked to schedule a recheck appointment.
How does chemotherapy work?
Most chemotherapy drugs attack cells that are in the process of rapid growth. Individual drugs may work through many different mechanisms, such as damaging a cell's genetic material (DNA) or preventing the cell from dividing properly. However, all rapidly dividing cells (including some normal ones) are potentially affected by chemotherapy. Damage to normal, rapidly growing tissues in the body is the reason for most of the side effects seen with chemotherapy. Fortunately, these tissues continue to grow and repair themselves, so injury caused by chemotherapy is rarely permanent.