Radiation Schedule in Companion Animals

Last Modified: November 17, 2008


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I have an 8 year-old labrador who was recently diagnosed with a mast cell tumor. The surgeon removed all that he could, but could not remove all of it. I am taking her for radiation therapy next week. The more I read about it, [it seems that] most physicians would give her radiation 3 days a week. This particular vet will give her 19 treatments, 5 days a week. The things I have read said 3 days a week is done so the dog can rest in between treatments. I would welcome any comments you can give on this. I am concerned that 5 days in a row would be too much?


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

That's a good question. The short answer is that most veterinary facilities have switched over to a 5 day-per-week radiation schedule, which is the same as is done in humans. This leaves Saturdays and Sundays for rest. Veterinary anesthesia has improved significantly over the years, and thus most patients tolerate daily treatments well.