Radiation Therapy for Pets

OncoLink
Last Modified: September 17, 2012

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Question

My dog's oncologist recommended radiation therapy (I didn't even know they did that in animals!) How can you get them to stay still? And what kind of side effects should we expect?

Lili Duda, VMD, MBE, DACVR Veterinary Radiation Oncologist- University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Answer

Radiation therapy is a standard treatment for many veterinary cancers. The treatments are delivered using the same equipment, techniques, and protocols as with people. Since patients must remain perfectly still while getting the treatments, veterinary patients require sedation or anesthesia to accomplish this. Modern anesthesia drugs are very safe, and veterinary patients are monitored with ECGs, blood pressure, pulse ox, just as with people. Side effects are limited to the area being treated, and depend on the location in the body. Typically the side effects resemble sunburn, start towards the end of treatment and last a few weeks.

Learn more about radiation therapy for animals.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from When a Beloved Pet has Cancer.


News
Addition of radiation therapy to rectal, prostate cancer treatments studied

Nov 1, 2010 - Radiation therapy appears to reduce recurrence rates when added to surgical treatment of rectal cancer and to increase survival when added to medical management of prostate cancer, and a highly targeted radiation approach may reduce gastrointestinal complications associated with prostate cancer treatment, according to three studies to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 in San Diego.



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