Traveling with a Companion Animal with Cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I have a question. My parents have a cat that has cancer of the liver. She is currently getting chemotherapy once every 3 weeks. They are going to be traveling around the country in an R.V. soon with the cat. They are trying to figure out how to make sure the cat receives her chemo treatments as needed. What is the best way they can go about doing this?
Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section Menu, responds:
Continuity of care is quite important when treating cats with cancer. Having consistent evaluation of a cat's progress and condition are essential. Additionally, not every veterinarian is capable of administering chemotherapy for a variety of reasons. The only suggestion I can make is for the owners to call veterinarians in all the locations where they will be when the cat is due for treatments or reevaluations.
If the veterinarians are willing to participate in this endeavor, then they should have their primary veterinarian call all the other veterinarians to fill them in on the cat's history. The owners should get copies of the cat's medical records, as well as a written update report from each veterinarian at the time of the visit, letting the next veterinarian know what treatments have been done, how the cat's doing, and what tests are needed. Frankly, this situation may be very difficult to coordinate. They should be prepared for the possibility of traveling with a sick cat, and/or to stay in one location if the cat requires hospitalization.