Maybe your pet hasn’t been themselves for a couple of months or perhaps they get sick suddenly. At the vet’s office, you get the devastating news that your favorite furry friend has cancer. With so many choices for treatment, what is the best route for healing your beloved pet?
Traditional Cancer Treatments
Traditional cancer treatments for pets focus on eliminating cancerous cells. Surgery is often the best option when a tumor is present because it can cure the cancer completely. Other treatments include radiation, chemotherapy, medications and immunotherapy. Some treatments can be delivered by general practice vets while others are provided by veterinary oncologists.
Complementary and Alternative Treatments
Complementary and alternative treatments focus on relieving symptoms and supporting pets’ immune systems. Examples of alternative treatments include:
- Acupuncture stimulates the immune system and can also decrease pain and inflammation.
- Nutritional and herbal supplements like fatty acids, probiotics, and vitamins can boost the immune system.
- Aromatherapy can be used for immune system support, pain management, and relaxation.
- Reiki or other types of healing energy medicine can promote healing and decrease pain.
Deciding on a Treatment Plan
Traditional and alternative approaches can complement one another. You might consider surgery or medication along with acupuncture to ease your pet’s pain or nausea. It’s important to consult with a vet for guidance when deciding on a treatment plan. Questions to consider when choosing how to best treat your pet’s cancer include:
- What type of cancer does my pet have?
- What is the prognosis and how likely is treatment to be effective?
- How is my pet’s overall health?
- What are the potential side effects of treatment and how will they affect my pet’s quality of life?
- What is the cost of treatment options?
- How long will treatment last?
Hospice and Palliative Care
Sometimes the best choice for a pet with cancer is to keep them comfortable in their final days or weeks. Palliative care focuses on managing pain and symptoms as your pet reaches the end of their life.
The caring and competent veterinarians at Sunrise Boulevard Animal Hospital are here to help families make the best choices for their pets under any circumstances. Call us at 916-702-8971 to make an appointment for all your animal health care needs.