Chemotherapy FAQ

Chemotherapy Safety and Precautions

 

Being around family members is an important part of a pet’s life. During chemotherapy, it is important to realize that your pet is safe to be around all of the family members. Enjoying normal activities together, hugging, and even kissing your pet are all safe activities.

Very simple precautions can be taken to make sure that there is minimal exposure from chemotherapy residue to you and your family.

  • most chemotherapy drugs are eliminated in small amounts in an active form in urine or feces for 72hrs post administration.
  • wear gloves if cleaning contaminated body secretions (urine, feces, vomitus, litter-box)
  • dilute bleach or detergent/shampoo inactivates and cleans chemotherapy.
  • dchemotherapy patients should not be allowed to eliminate outdoors in areas where small children play (ex. sand box area, etc) while their urine/feces are contaminated.
  • remove contaminated feces from outdoors as soon as possible.
  • cat litter-boxes should be scooped out daily (preferable to use clumpable litter) and completely changed frequently. The pan should be washed with detergent.
  • other than contaminated body secretions, there is little risk of exposure to chemotherapy for other pets living in the same households. Cats can be allowed to use the same litter-box.
  • young children, immunosuppressed patients or pregnant women should avoid exposure to contaminated body secretions.
  • store chemotherapy drugs away from children.
  • oral chemotherapy should be administered wearing gloves, either in a small piece of food or directly down the throat (ideally). We want to avoid you pet chewing on chemotherapy because there is a higher risk of exposure to contaminated saliva for you.
  • do not break the chemotherapy tablets, open capsules or dissolve them in water.
  • oral chemotherapy is generally absorbed within 2 hours. If vomiting occurs during that time, the vomitus is considered contaminated and you should wear gloves to clean it. Depending on the timing of the vomiting, all or part of the medication will not be absorbed. Unless the vomiting happened within 15 minutes of chemotherapy administration, re-dosing is not recommended. Please call us for advice.