What Is the Quality of Life of a Pet During Chemotherapy?

The goal of chemotherapy in veterinary medicine is to treat the cancer as aggressively as possible but without sacrificing the quality of life.  My goal is to improve and maintain good quality of life in my patients.

Along the years I treated patients for which maintaining excellent quality of life during chemotherapy was an absolute must: the assistance dog that continued to serve his wheelchair-bound owner for 3 months until he could be replaced; the professional hunting dog that continued to enjoy hunting, the competitive Cocker Spaniel that won the most important agility trial of his life; the Golden Retriever that continued to be a therapy dog in the pediatric oncology ward. These are great examples of what quality of life should be during chemotherapy.

The cancer itself also influences quality of life. If the treatment doesn’t control the cancer, the patient may develop poor quality of life due to the cancer effects on the body. If we cannot improve quality of life, it is better that we stop.