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Chemotherapy For Cats: Is It The Right Option?

Thanks to recent advances in cancer research, there are treatment options for cats diagnosed with cancer that will give them the chance to continue living a long and healthy life. Just like with humans, treatment options for cancer in cats are varied and depends on the severity and stage of the cancer and the type of cancer. Often the most common treatment option is surgery, but some cancers may require chemotherapy treatment.

While you may be familiar with the use of chemotherapy for humans, chemotherapy for cats may be a bit less common to you. Understanding what, exactly, chemotherapy is, as well as the goal and process of the treatment method will help you decide if it is the right option for you and your feline friend. Familiarizing yourself with what to expect during the treatment and after is also imperative to the overall care and recovery of your cat.

What Is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a drug therapy that was developed to kill or stop the growth of cancer cells with the least amount of damage to healthy cells. Drugs used in chemotherapy are often taken from plants, trees or bacteria, and believe it or not, these drugs are often the same used in treatment for humans.

Goal of Chemotherapy

Now that you know a little about chemotherapy, you may be wondering what the overall goal of this treatment option is when it comes to your beloved cat. Chemotherapy is designed to control or eliminate the cancer and cancerous cells in your cat’s body, providing them with the highest quality of life possible. While chemotherapy does not always cure cancer completely, its main goal is to control the disease and provide a period of remission.

How Chemotherapy is Given

When it comes to chemotherapy for cats, there are different methods for it to be administered. Sometimes chemotherapy is given to your cat intravenously (IV), under the skin directly, or into a muscle. Other cases may require the drug to be injected directly into the tumor. Some types of chemotherapy are available in a tablet form as well. The frequency of the treatments will vary depending on the type of cancer

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

While the goal of chemotherapy is to provide an improved quality of life, there are some side effects that can occur depending on the drug and the dose ..

  • Susceptible to contracting infections because of a decrease in white blood cells
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Chemotherapy can be an effective method of treating a cat with cancer, enabling them to live longer with a good quality of life. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about the chemotherapy needed because many cats tolerate chemotherapy very well.

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