Oncology

Your partner in the war on cancer

Our oncology team is proud to offer lifelong personalized and thoughtful cancer care for your beloved pet. The team, which consists of oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, imaging specialists, pathologists, a medical physicist and technicians, works together to provide your pet with the most effective cancer treatment possible.

Safety is our number one priority when it comes to the well-being of your pet preceding, during and after treatments are complete. Our goal is to provide the best quality of life possible for your companion while tailoring the therapy to your and your pet’s needs.

 

Cancer in Pets

  • Cancer occurs due to uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells within the body.
  • Cancer is common in pets and many develop the same cancers commonly diagnosed in people.
  • Early cancer detection may improve treatment success.
  • Although not always curable, most cancers are treatable.
  • Maintaining an excellent quality of life is the foremost goal of cancer treatment in pets.

 

Types of Treatment

Designing an appropriate cancer treatment plan is complex, and treatments are adapted to each individual patient. There are often multiple ways to treat a particular cancer, and it is likely that several treatment options will be presented.

It is important to know your goals and expectations when considering treatment options. Your oncology team will respect your opinions and wishes and help determine the course of action that best suits you and your pet.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is often used in combination with surgery for cancers likely to spread; it also may be used as a stand-alone treatment. Our team of board-certified medical oncologists can design an appropriate chemotherapy plan for your pet. Side effects are uncommon, but your pet’s oncologist will discuss all potential chemotherapy complications prior to initiating therapy.

Surgery

Surgery, for many cancers, is an important component of treatment. Our team of board-certified surgeons is highly skilled in tumor removal. Most pets recover quickly and return to normal activities.

Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncology is typically combined with surgery to treat localized cancers. Alternatively, it may be used to alleviate pain and other signs associated with advanced cancer. Our hospital is one of two veterinary radiotherapy facilities in Georgia, and we are the only one with an on-site veterinary radiation oncologist.

Additionally, our linear accelerator, which is the machine used in radiation therapy, is one of the most advanced models currently available.

One of the main advantages of this machine is its ability to deliver radiation beams to a tumor with significantly increased accuracy, sparing more of the surrounding normal tissue. This results in decreased side effects in a significant proportion of our patients.

This accuracy also allows us to offer stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT) for the treatment of certain types of tumors, such as nasal, brain and spinal tumors. SRT is different from traditional radiation therapy in that a higher dose of radiation can be used. As a result, the number of radiation treatments needed decreases (for example, from 20 treatments to one to five treatments). This is especially advantageous for veterinary patients, since they require general anesthesia for each radiation therapy session.

Clinical Trials

To improve the success of cancer treatment in animals, our oncology group participates in ground-breaking multi-institutional clinical trials that are taking place across the nation. If a clinical trial for which your pet would qualify is available, the advantages and disadvantages of the clinical trial are discussed. Clinical trials often come with financial incentives to help the pet owner cover the cost of treatment.

View a full listing of our clinical trial offerings

Absorbing all the information available about treating cancer in your pet can be a daunting task. Here is a list of initial questions to consider:

  • What are the treatment options?
  • What is the goal of treatment?
  • What is my pet’s prognosis with and without treatment?
  • What is the cost of treatment?
  • What are the side effects of treatment?

While many general practice veterinarians do a great job of treating cancer, board-certified veterinary oncologists spend extra years training, are experienced in cancer care, and are aware of all available treatment options. Consultation with a specialist should always be considered.

Available Clinical Trials

Study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an immunomodulator as an alternative to surgery in dogs with soft tissue sarcomas

Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of an immunomodulator as a treatment for canine soft tissue sarcoma Investigator: Corey Saba, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology faculty) If interested, please have your primary veterinarian request additional information through the UGA Oncology service by…

Latest Oncology News and Stories

Bacon DePascale

Life with Bacon has been exciting from day one! He was pulled from a kill shelter by a rescue group…