Chemotherapy FAQ

Other Treatments During Chemotherapy

  • Your pet can receive flea and heartworm-prevention medication.
  • No vaccinations should be given during chemotherapy. If your pet needs to be vaccinated, I can provide you with a medical-waver. In some situations we may contraindicate vaccinations for the rest of their lives – please discuss any vaccinations with Dr. Sarbu
  • Adding any new medications should be discussed with us.
  • I strongly discourage concurrent herbal supplements and antioxidants – these products are not well characterized and they can have unforeseen and negative interactions with the chemotherapy drugs (ex. worsen side effects, cancel the beneficial effects of chemotherapy, etc).
  • No special diets are necessary, as long as your pet is on a well-balanced commercial diet. If your pet currently receives small amounts of “people-food” as treats, it is acceptable to continue to do this.
  • There are no activity restrictions, your pet should do whatever he/she is able to do. Our goal is to reestablish normal activity level and life-style.
  • It is ideal that your pet is not placed in a regular boarding facility while receiving chemotherapy. Most facilities require full vaccinations (which we prefer not to have done), and there is a higher risk of catching an infection there. Your pet’s immune system will be decreased during chemotherapy. Regular boarding facilities do not typically have staff that is knowledgeable about chemotherapy side effects and monitoring. There is also the concern of staff exposure to chemotherapy in secretions. It is better to have them monitored at home or placed in a medical facility for boarding.  
  • Breeding cancer patients is highly discouraged! Although we do not know exactly what causes each type of cancer, the genetic background of the patient is likely involved. Breeding patients that develop cancer could lead to passing the “bad genes” further.