Your Pet's Treatment and Experience

  • Your pet will need to fast before undergoing anesthesia and undergo recommended blood work and diagnostics before treatment begins.
  • Your animal will need to be under anesthesia during the procedure to prevent movement and to accurately target the tumor site.
  • The duration of each treatment is short, usually about 15 minutes.
  • Your animal should experience no discomfort during the treatment.
  • It is important to avoid unnecessary interruptions in the treatment schedule to effectively fight the cancer.
  • It is not possible to “catch up” on missed appointments. You need to commit yourself to an entire course of treatments for best results.
  • You may choose to board your animal during consecutive-day treatments to avoid schedule conflicts and to ensure that treatments are not missed.
  • Your pet will not be radioactive at any time during or after the treatments.

Side effects

Radiation therapy in animals does not cause systemic side effects common in humans such as nausea and decreased appetite. However, your pet may experience fatigue due to repeated anesthesia.

Acute side effects are more common and depend on the dose of radiation given. These side effects occur in the treatment area, resemble a bad sunburn, but typically resolve quickly with care. Discouraging your pet from licking, scratching or biting the area will speed the healing process. Your pet may temporarily lose the hair from the treated area. Dark hair and skin generally re-grow lighter, while light skin and hair generally re-grow darker.

Recovery

Once treatment has ended, the oncologist will want to periodically examine your pet to determine the effect of the radiation on the tumor and to detect any side effects in their early stages.