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A pet’s cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, and, as a pet owner, you want to make the best decisions for your pet’s health. When your vet diagnoses your pet with cancer, they will present you with available treatment options. Fortunately, the number of treatment options available for pets diagnosed with cancer is increasing as researchers recognize the need for more effective pet cancer therapies. As a pet owner, navigating information regarding new cancer therapies can be challenging. Understanding the options available to your pet will help guide your decision-making and allow you to make the best choices for your pet’s health.

Here are our top tips for evaluating new cancer treatments available to your pet:

    1. First and foremost, ensure that your sources of information are reliable. Avoid social media and blog posts (unless they come from a reputable organization). Look for articles that reference scientific studies and, if possible, look at the original research. The scientific study should ideally be peer-reviewed, which means other researchers in the field have critically assessed it before publication. If current treatments are not working for your pet, there is an alternative to peer-reviewed studies. In this case, it may be possible to enroll them in an experimental trial, which is not yet peer-reviewed or published. Ask your vet if there are any appropriate trials seeking patients in your area.
    1. Familiarize yourself with your pet’s diagnosis and their type of cancer. Cancer represents a large group of diseases that all behave uniquely. Treatment can change depending on various factors, including cancer location, tumor size, and stage. Understanding your pet’s specific diagnosis is essential to comprehending what treatment options are available and which are generally effective. Your vet will help guide you to the most promising therapies and treatments, but it is helpful to have a general idea of what future is in store for your pet.
    1. Look for evidence that researchers have tested the treatment on pets, particularly the same species as your pet. Studies often test the effect of cancer drugs in animal models before moving on to human trials. It is essential to ensure the treatment is reported as successful in the same species as your pet, as differences between species may alter the effectiveness of the therapy. It is also important to check if the treatment was effective and supported in multiple independent studies. Understand that even in the most rigorously tested treatments, the outcome of the therapy varies tremendously between individuals. In other words, what works well for some pets may not work well for your pet. Speak to your vet about the best options catered specifically to your furry friend.

The Pet Cancer Foundation’s Website Editorial team is comprised of veterinarians, veterinary oncologists, and veterinary technicians, as well as scientific writers and editors who have attained their PhD’s in the life sciences, along with general editors and research assistants. All content found in this section goes through an extensive process with multiple review stages, to ensure this extended resource provides pet families with the most up-to-date information publicly available.

The team listing of those contributing to the information on this page is here:

Keep Your Pets Healthy Editorial Team

Last Updated: September 7, 2022

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The Pet Cancer Foundation’s medical resource for pet owners is protected by copyright.

For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.