Veterinary Chemotherapy precautions

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: July 7, 2002


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

My wife is pregnant with our second child, and she is in her second trimester. Our Golden Retriever is starting chemotherapy on Friday. The vet advised my wife to "avoid metabolites" as they could be teratogenic due to the metabolized chemotherapeutic agents in them. Can you give us some concrete advice on what this means? If my wife wears gloves if it were to be necessary for her to handle feces or vomit, is that safe? I guess we need a run-down of the risks here so we can take appropriate precautions.  


Lili Duda, VMD, Section Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Menu, responds:

Most of the precautions involve common sense. There should be none or minimal contact with urine, feces, or vomit. If contact is absolutely necessary, gloves should be used, and your veterinarian should be able to provide you with gloves approved for handling of chemotherapy agents. Hands should be washed after contact with the pet or with body fluids. Someone else should administer any oral chemotherapy drugs. Your veterinarian should be able to discuss any specific questions you might have.